Moving Mountains - Pneuma
Pneuma is an album that could see a wide range of music listeners coming together. Moving Mountains combines the emo rock elements of a band like Brand New with the instrumental prowess of a powerful post-rock band. It is quite similar in sound to what the great Appleseed Cast have created on numerous albums. While Moving Mountains might not be quite at that creative pinnacle just yet, the band comes admirably close on Pneuma. Either way you look at it, Moving Mountains have created a tremendous debut here.
What Moving Mountains are so adept at on Pneuma are bridging musical gaps. Moving Mountains have created a completely modern record that is still obviously indebted to its past. It is vocally reminiscent of Brand New, lyrically reminiscent of Mineral and instrumentally reminscent of The Appleseed Cast. I am also reminded of the spacier parts of Fairweather’s incredibly underrated farewell album, Lusitania. Fans that liked the direction Fairweather was headed on that album should find a great deal to love about Pneuma. The album is incredibly ambitious in its scope. The band never once lets their songs feel any type of constrictions. Lengths, tempos and textures vary a great deal from song to song. Instrumentally, the band is quite adventurous as well. Many of the songs on Pneuma are highlighted by ample horns and xylophones that add a great deal to the album’s overall feel. Pneuma is quite simply a stunning collision of post-rock and emo the likes rarely seen.
It certainly can be argued that Moving Mountains are not doing too much new here. However, the band does a remarkable job of recreating a sound (with some definite modern twists) that many of us older bucks hold close and dear to our hearts. If you loved bands like the ones mentioned in this review, well, Moving Mountains are certainly for you. Pneuma simply takes you back in time to when emo wasn’t such a dirty word.
Review courtesy of Sound As Language
Pneuma has been re-released on Deep Elm and is part of a new endeavor. They are limited the CD copies of Pneuma to 1000 worldwide. If you miss out, you'll have to settle for a digital copy only. Head to Deep Elm's site to secure a copy.
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on 2008-07-03 Smeesan Said:
I wanted to give this album a higher score. There are things that Moving Mountains do right, and those things are done satisfyingly awesome. There are many moments that give you that "F*ck yeah!" feeling throughout the album, but too many of those "wait... really??" moments to overlook. As the editorial review says, Moving Mountains's sound is quite similar to genre heroes Appleseed Cast. The overall tone of stylish ambiance let you fall away into the music, oftentimes wanting to close your eyes and really just absorb it all. And it's worth absorbing. Although, the lyrical stylings are where they fail to impress as much as they do with the music itself. I think Brand New is an unfair comparison; Brand New's lyrics cut like blades, where MM's .... don't. The vocals fit quite nicely in helping to strengthen the tone of the music, but when they come forward, I found myself wishing they'd slip back into the indechiperable background where they were ambient noise. That felt much better.
Overall, Moving Mountain's "Pneuma" hits far more than it misses, and where it hits, it hits hard. An impressive album, but not quite exceptional.
Oh, and lose the trumpet. Please.
on 2008-06-16 dscanland Said:
Deep Elm has discovered another winner in Moving Mountains. This New York state band has what I've been craving the last little while. It's a fusion of emo, post-rock and straight ahead rock with more twists than a strawberry twizzler. The music restores my faith in Deep Elm as well. Sure, Deep Elm is only distributing the album but for them to take a band like this on again hearkens the days when they were pushing The Appleseed Cast, still, to this day the best band that the label has ever been associated with. If you like any of the bands in the TIYL section then give Pneuma a shot. Seriously beautiful.