Coming down from the, er ... mountain, well, British Columbia, bandleader Stephen McBean and his cohorts sound logjammed in the past on In the Future. Not that Black Mountain doesn't deserve mad props for impersonating the best Norwegian metal band this side of Canada, equal parts hobbit rock and Sabbath lite. Nor can they be so easily dismissed. As McBean has shown with Black Mountain's alter-ego, Pink Mountaintops, his musical ideas are nimble, not numbing. With vocal assistance from percussionist Amber Webber, the operation shifts gears, introducing themes that recall Neil Young, Mott the Hoople, and even Cocteau Twins. Like the band itself, "Tyrants," clocking in at eight minutes, wins big points for political sincerity ("Bastard you won't be forgiven"). An old-fashioned, organlike mellotron arrives on the next track, "Wucan," to call into question what "electronic" music means anymore. Spark one, and find out. (Thursday, March 13, Mohawk, 1am.)
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