Is there anything Jagjaguwar puts out that doesn't fucking rule? As a home to Dinosaur Jr.'s Farm, Women, Black Mountain and Sunset Rubdown, it's not hard to distinguish what the true answer may be. Pink Mountaintops is also not immune to this truth. Starting out in 2004 under the control of Black Mountain's crooning frontman Stephen McBean, the band released a self-titled under the name of The Pink Mountaintops, but since the release of Axis of Evol, they made a good call to drop "The" from their name.
Even though I started as an initial fan of McBean's similarly named band, Black Mountain, there was still room to be pleasantly surprised by Axis of Evol's continuous flair. It wouldn't be right to say it's more chic than a Black Mountain album, but it's definitely a little more controlled. You can really tell this is all McBean, from the solo acoustic opening tune "Comas" to a psychedelic voice overlay with Black Mountain bandmate Amber Webber on "Slaves." Contrary to what McBean's roots may suggest, the album's foray into electronic undertones is what really sets his side project apart from the stoner rock label he might have gained in his other involvements. But there's definitely a balance of those undertones with gentle acoustic ballads between these funky tracks. No nonsense here; McBean made a hell of an album.