Holy Mountain - The Art School, Glasgow, Sat 5 Apr 2014
Glasgow's heavy rockers show they're evolving beyond beefy caveman brutality
‘If you were actually listening to the album, you’d be dead by now,’ claims Holy Mountain frontman Andy McGlone around 45 minutes into the serious aural mugging he and his bandmates are dispensing with a little help from the Art School’s powerful PA and amps, which presumably go up to 12. By the end of this launch gig for the mega-power trio’s new album, Ancient Astronauts, most of the audience were near-deaf rather than near-death.
The Holy Mountain drill is a no-messing, economical celebration of the heavy riff but, as the new material shows, the band are evolving beyond beefy caveman brutality, and with Graeme Smillie now providing some Keith Emerson licks and a whole new Deep Purple direction on keys, surely the next step is a symphonic collaboration with the RSNO?
Support band Eugene Tombs may be named after an X Files character but musically they offer a David Lynch film soundtrack in one handy set, albeit without the sinister charisma or the dwarves. Their deep, dark, twanging torch songs are laced with sparing bursts of keening clarinet – the only other missing Lynchian element is the perversion of bubblegum pop.