Digital Mountain is fantasy. One that catches you in its opening embrace. The first track is called ‘Captain’ but you could start anywhere.
‘They’ are Nice Biscuit, a band which calls Brisbane home. They’ve been around for two or so years now. Digital Mountain is their debut. The group have wasted no time in getting here. It’s an accomplished record.
‘Captain’ and other tracks like ‘Fairfield Of Dreams’ have appeared elsewhere before as singles. But with a light tweak or two, they convalesce easily into Digital’s bigger picture. They also lead off the record, high energy rock fluttering with lysergia and spacey lyricism. That early idea of heavy (like Barrett's Pink Floyd), heavy before heavy became cliché though at least one of the band found their way to music through Mars Volta. But regardless of where it’s come from it’s here, a heady moment with lyrics surreal and their delivery decorated with intricate riffs.
But there’s other sounds too. ‘Out of Sight’ casts a different elemental shade, playing out with the flavour of surf instrumental. The dream states of ‘Digital Mountain Sparrow’ and ‘Outside’ introduce moodier numbers evocative of Mazzy Star.
Those still struggling to find a foot could do worse than pull themselves into the psychedelia-meets-Stones headspace of ‘Here on the Ground’. It jangles like Brian Jonestown Massacre but within the kind of sonics within which Anton Newcombe lost his mind Biscuit find their bliss. They push themselves between moments of entropic languor and shimmering highs.
It’s lazy reviewing a record song-by-song but it really does feel that each of the album’s cuts unveils a different dimension to the group’s sound. To saddle them with comparison to similar acts would be to be packaging these six unkindly. Nice Biscuit are not the kind of run-and-gun facsimile which turned the psych scene sour. There is no formula. Just expression.
Whether it’s in a lyric, guitar lick or hypnotic rhythm it’s all here in these songs. Mountain documents a living breathing band chasing visions. That in mind ‘Octopus’ is the closer. “Possibility”? “See colours differently”? It’s code, man.
Which is totally Digital Mountain’s truck. It’s a record you can stare at, interrogate, dive deep with and just plaint figure out. It collects everything which has lured people into this outfit’s world so far and leaves the impression that there’s still room to expand. Sifting through psychotropic haze the bright promise of the future unfurls.
Some acts need to get a grip. Nice Biscuit do not. They’re not trying to sell the listener on something they don’t believe in or isn’t worth their while. They’ve crafted the music and now they want to take you on a journey to fantasies your own or otherwise. Anywhere you want to go.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
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