Loch Lomond

When We Were Mountains

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Slow, deliberate, and tense, Loch Lomond create a dark yet pretty audio picture on "Stripe," a song with lush instrumentation despite describing murdering someone at work. The duo of Ritchie Young and Rob Oberdorfer sounds a bit like Smashing Pumpkins in their heartfelt moments during the opener, but the song continues for far too long. "The Mountain" resembles a cross between Supertramp and Elliott Smith on the acoustic opening moments. Adding backing harmonies that result in a dreamy '60s feeling, the tune glides along quite nicely with winding violins and other strings. What makes the album improve is a change of genre, moving into more of an electronic, Depeche Mode-circa-Ultra style on "Sir Edmund." The high vocals don't blend as well as they should though at times, particularly reaching on the singer/songwriter, piano-driven "Canadian Shield." Perhaps the highlight of the record is "Whatafall," a spacy walk between acoustic guitar, jazz, and classical piano, ghostly vocals, and ample effects. The pretentious Parisian "Sourire," performed mainly in French, is a novel idea on paper, but definitely not on tape. "Del Fuego" has some similarities to Sir Edmund, but here they slowly build a mounting tension that never comes to blossom. Loch Lomond can certainly churn out lovable acoustic-based pop nuggets such as "Salt the Air," which brings Radiohead and Pilate to mind. Most of this album is not great but quite good.

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