With “Mary Lou,” canadian rock group Black Mountain takes its pseudo-psychedelic sound – which in the past has had the tendency to sound like a plethora of fossilized classic rock bands – to the next level. The song comes from the band’s forthcoming release (available April 3rd), which is a soundtrack composed of old and new songs for the so-called “apocalyptic” surf film Year Zero. Since the song was written specifically for a film, there is a noticeable shift in the group’s approach to songwriting. The vintage sound of the chunky opening bass riff, which is later mimicked by an even chunkier, distorted guitar is typical Black Mountain; but the band injects their fossil rock sound with a shot of adrenaline by working in a quicker tempo than usual, while simplifying the song structure to a repetitive, catchy drone that does not put any emphasis on lyrics. However, lyrics are of no importance to this song – this is cruising music. The simple phrase “Mary Lou, Mary Lou/Whatchu gonna do?” is adequate because the emphasis relies solely on the charging electric vibe of the music, which makes it appealing to a crowd of “renegade surfers” and anyone who wants to rock hard. The song makes the listener feel as if he or she is catching a wave, taking it for a speedy ride, crashing down and drowning under water, and then slowly washing up to shore.
Listen to “Mary Lou” here: