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Moving Mountains

Pneuma

(Deep Elm; US: 2008; UK: Available as import)

There are far too many bands that rely on lush instrumentation and dreamy arrangements to distinguish one from the other. Whether you’re talking about Sigur Ros, the likes of Patrick Watson or others, Moving Mountains attempt to go down much the same path, although the opening number “Aphelion” sounds more like Taking Back Sunday trying their hand at the aforementioned Icelandic band than anything else. The second song “Cover the Roots/Lower the Stems” is a bit more of the same, although they manage to squeak in some horns to boot on this winding, meandering “emo” rocker. Fortunately, Moving Mountains adjust the album somewhat with “Alastika” that is more pop rock oriented but features some nice guitar work by both Gregory Dunn and Frank Graniero. Basically what comes later is decent but nothing that would make your jaw drop. A great example of this is the finely-tuned and melodic “8105” that sounds like The Cure and Radiohead mashed up. The intensity picks up near its homestretch but brings to mind Angels & Airwaves minus the militarism. The roots-y, folksy “Sol Solis” slows the album down but isn’t really that great of a song despite being a much needed change-up in terms of flow. The album highlight has to be the no-nonsense approach to “Grow On, Grow Up, Grow Out”. Despite the hyperbole the press kit utters, this is a good album, not a great one.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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