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When We Were Mountains – Loch Lomond

When We Were Mountains - Loch Lomond Artist: Loch Lomond
Album: When We Were Mountains
Release Date: November 11, 2003
Duration: 44:58
Genre: Pop/Rock
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Recording Location: Kerby House, Portland, OR

Slow, deliberate, and tense, Loch Lomond create a dark yet pretty audio picture on “Stripe,” a song with lush instrumentation despite describing murdering someone at work. The duo of Ritchie Young and Rob Oberdorfer sounds a bit like Smashing Pumpkins in their heartfelt moments during the opener, but the song continues for far too long. “The Mountain” resembles a cross between Supertramp and Elliott Smith on the acoustic opening moments. Adding backing harmonies that result in a dreamy ’60s feeling, the tune glides along quite nicely with winding violins and other strings.

What makes the album improve is a change of genre, moving into more of an electronic, Depeche Mode-circa-Ultra style on “Sir Edmund.” The high vocals don’t blend as well as they should though at times, particularly reaching on the singer/songwriter, piano-driven “Canadian Shield.” Perhaps the highlight of the record is “Whatafall,” a spacy walk between acoustic guitar, jazz, and classical piano, ghostly vocals, and ample effects. The pretentious Parisian “Sourire,” performed mainly in French, is a novel idea on paper, but definitely not on tape. “Del Fuego” has some similarities to Sir Edmund, but here they slowly build a mounting tension that never comes to blossom. Loch Lomond can certainly churn out lovable acoustic-based pop nuggets such as “Salt the Air,” which brings Radiohead and Pilate to mind. Most of this album is not great but quite good.

Title/Composer Performer Time
Stripe / Loch Lomond Loch Lomond 4:18
The Mountain / Loch Lomond Loch Lomond 4:55
Sir Edmund / Loch Lomond Loch Lomond 5:33
Canadian Shield / Loch Lomond Loch Lomond 3:29
Whatafall / Loch Lomond Loch Lomond 3:22
Sourire / Loch Lomond Loch Lomond 2:47
He’s Never Seen the Ocean / Loch Lomond Loch Lomond 5:02
Del Fuego / Loch Lomond Loch Lomond 3:37
Salt the Air / Loch Lomond Loch Lomond 5:01
This Year of Our Lord / Loch Lomond Loch Lomond 6:54
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