Holy Mountain - Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Wed 30 May 2012
Guitar riffer's dazzling skill and a sense of fun is irresistible
There came a point, midway through their brusque and battering 40-minute set, that Holy Mountain saw fit to remove their matching sweat-stained vests. Or drummer Pete Flett and bassist Allan Stewart did, anyway. ‘Naebody wants to see me with my tits out,’ laughed bearded singer and guitarist Andy McGlone, before lowering his head and returning to the punishment of his guitar, our view of the heads-down band that of three headfuls of lank brown trailing towards the ground once more. The squad of Chemikal Underground-signed Glasgow noisemakers fulfil all of these rock stereotypes and more, but there’s a dazzling skill and a sense of fun to their music that’s irresistible.
The opening ‘Bolting Bastard’ was a cacophonous slow stride through sludge with growled lyrics from McGlone, and also the most traditionally-styled track of their set. After it, songs bled together and the vocal mic was all but abandoned, with riff after powering riff piled on top of one another. There were echoes of the Stooges or MC5’s serrated garage punk and the all-encompassing aural swamp of bands like Dinosaur Jr, but one set of influential legends rose above all others. ‘Does anybody like a band called Black Sabbath?’ asked McGlone before a cover of Ozzy and co’s ‘War Pigs’. ‘Me too.’ Quelle surprise there.