“The Second Summer of Love” by Pink Mountaintops
The Polaris Music Prize is the country’s most genuine, reliable music award simply because of the manner in which its finalists are chosen: unlike most awards,which are based on popularity and album sales, The Polaris Prize longlist is created from a juried process that involves more than 200 members of Canadian media focusing exclusively on musical merit. As a result, a kid recording demos in his mom’s basement is as able to make the list as the biggest band of the year.
Pink Mountaintops are among the forty-ish bands on the 2014 longlist, and their new album is notable for a few reasons. Mainly, for being such a roaring divergence from 2009’s offering of mellow, brooding music (click here for the last album’s standout track, “Vampire”). By contrast, Get Back is an energy-packed, dark rock gem meant to be blared.
Its influences are cited as “cigarette-stained gig flyers … and the beauty of youth,” and that’s some perfect imagery for the album: conceptually, it’s a reflection on having miraculously survived youth against all odds.
Pink Montaintops is largely a project of Black Mountain’s Stephen McBean, hence the band name likely being a play off of Black Mountain. Pink Moutaintops is something of a supergroup in that many, many musicians have been involved in the project. McBean makes a list of people he’d like to make a record with, and reaches out to see who’s available. J Mascis is involved in this album, for example, and, some of the album’s sound isn’t unlike Dinosaur Jr.
Another notable feature of the album is that it’s home to one of the weirdest and raciest duets of all time, courtesy of Giant Drag’s Annie Hardy. Hardy’s lines in the song, “North Hollywood Microwaves,” feature a woman going on and on and on about “gotta get me some of your ooey goey cum.” Her wild batch of non-sequiturs runs through donkey punches, to being in a hospital bed next to Rod Stewart getting their semen-filled stomachs pumped “by the gallon, to, weirder still, “guys are no fun so I’m now fucking bears.” Yes, really. There’s a line, “Gotta get that bear cum … I’m not scared. Be it black or even polar bear.” Their label, Jajaguar, called it the filthiest song they’ve ever recorded. Thing is, it’s a great song. Here’s the video.