It’s tough to review an album like Pneuma. While doing my usual research (thanks, Google), I found a plethora of ways to describe Moving Mountains’ sound. All of them featured hyphens, slashes and long-winded stories about how nobody is mixing things up these days. And while, technically, all of those things are true, I’m going to shy away from giving the band an oddly vague and, yet, remarkably precise description like indie-math-atmospheric/post-rock. Instead, how does “great” work for everyone? OK then, let’s continue.
We’ve already established my being beaten to the proverbial underground punch. Although, I have yet to detail why I’m so ticked off at myself for being woefully under-informed. Pick your reason. But it’s probably the vast diversities between songs - “Aphelion” mixes horns with startling screams, while “Sol Solis” is a simple, acoustic ballad. Their ability to write a mathy and atmospheric rock song (“Alastika”) never hampers their aptitude at transcending the restraints of ‘regular’ post-rock (“The Earth And The Sun”). Quite simply, there is nothing these guys can’t do.
You don’t write songs like this and not expect to get noticed. Pneuma truly grew from word-of-mouth and grassroots beginnings. When a band creates a song like “8105,” which somehow fits every influence from Pneuma into it’s robust, 8-minute frame, kids are going to talk. A powerful drum assault leads the brass section, while the music quiets until finally bursting with melody and crescendos. Everything comes together brilliantly, and your brain will overheat as you try to decide which section deserves the most attention. Here’s a hint: give the lyrics a try.
(Don’t totally) Discount the first six minutes of “Ode We Will Bury Ourselves.” Well, don’t discount it at all, as the song is a magnificent closer. But, when the horns and cymbal crashes and guitar wails finally fade away, the band leaves us with an emotional vocal performance. It is one engaging sermon: “And I am in the earth and you’re in the sky. Hallelujah. And nothing will change what you are. Hallelujah. And someday the trees will sing.” This is not a request, drop whatever you’re listening to right now. Moving Mountains is better.
Despite my first paragraph, this isn’t about which ‘zine blew me out of the water with imagery and vocabulary (all of them). This is about everyone joining together and loving good music. It’s also about supporting Moving Mountains enough to get them back in the studio. No rush, of course. Forget market segmentation and home turf; hold my hand and turn Pneuma up.
Recommended If You Like: The Appleseed Cast, Hammock, mad scientists, Pyramids, conjunctions
this album is unbelievable. this is in my top three records of the year. personally i'd rate it at about a 93-95.
blake, do you have a hard copy?
not yet, im working on it.
And yeah, the final score says 88%, but personal preference aside from the other classifications, i give it like a 95%. And the fact that this band is unsigned and did the whole thing themself is unbelievable.
their live show lives up to everything you'd expect. Album of the year? I think so.
I have a hard copy and the entire artwork is worth seeing, especially if you love the cover. Just the CD itself like the actual physical CD is covered in beautiful artwork.