Seven Story Mountain At the Poles

When you hear something as absolutely airtight as this latest full-length from Arizona’s Seven Story Mountain, it’s difficult to imagine that it’s just one guy orchestrating the whole damn thing. But such is the case with 7SM and Lance Lammers, the mastermind behind this jagged post-punk monster. While a few of the tracks sound like vintage Fugazi, Lammers’ vocals are a far cry from Guy Picciotto’s, having much more in common with J. Robbins’ work with Burning Airlines. Robbins’ back catalogue is an obvious influence, with Jawbox-mimicking riffs popping up on songs like the instrumental "Bad Day” and the formidable "Twelve Times.” The band even include a few genuinely catchy choruses, such as the near-radio-ready "Elevator, ”displaying an interest in pushing things past a simple recreation of For Your Own Special Sweetheart or Goat. Ultimately, this record stands as a triumph for Lammers, whose last release with the band was five years ago. It’s no Foo Fighters, but when it comes to one guy alone in his house, the results are rarely this cohesive, charged and rock solid. (Thick)