Generally, when we think of music recorded in isolation, say, in a secluded bedroom or up in the mountains or in some remote cabin in the woods, we tend to think of music that is sparse, rustic and forlorn. Think Springsteen’s Nebraska or Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago or, should we want to move things closer to home, Lily and the Tigers’ The Hand You Deal Yourself, released just last year. We certainly don’t think of abrasive punk and noise rock, the sort of loud, discordant, angst-filled music that requires suburban ennui and urban grit and grime to stoke its fires. And yet, here we are.
Recorded near Mt. Yonah in Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia, MTN ISL’s upcoming first full length may have some quiet and reflective moments — we should find out soon enough — but first single “Spider Relations” certainly didn’t waste any time pummeling the listener with blistering guitars and fervent vocals. And now we have “Naut Cool,” a more measured, but nonetheless ragged stomper that we’re excited to premiere for you this morning.
If we’re searching for commonalities between the two tracks, something which might give us a glimpse as to what the new record will sound and feel like, it’s how lean these song’s are in comparison to their past material. The band’s riffs and rhythms remain as intricate as ever, but they’ve eliminated the meandering math rock excursions and bloated breakdowns. The result is a sound that’s more polished, yes, but also more memorable and engaging. It’s not exactly the sort of stripped-down soul bearing I alluded to in the beginning, but it’s clear that MTN ISL’s time in seclusion has yielded something equally as powerful. Listen below.