Mount Moriah Miracle Temple

Mount MoriahMiracle Temple
Now that Mount Moriah have found themselves on their home state's premier indie label, there's a very good chance they'll turn quite a few more heads. Led by Heather McEntire and Jenks Miller, their second album continues along the same path as their self-released debut, but with a bit more polish. Miracle Temple is as straightforward as they come, and is all the better for it, settling down into its groove right from opening track "Younger Days" and not wandering very far. The band create vignettes on each song similar to those the Walkabouts have been making for years. McEntire's vocals are at the centre of each and every track; she has that effortlessness so essential to this genre and pulls in the listener with her warmth, accentuated by the band's harmonies. But that fire that burns so spectacularly on the album sleeve never really catches — this is a smouldering record that doesn't explode the way it threatens to. And considering that both McEntire and Miller have created music elsewhere capable of detonation, it's a pity they didn't bring that dynamic with them. Miracle Temple is still a wonderfully warm and welcoming record, but it never soars. (Merge)