Review: Moving Mountains – Waves (2011)

The minute I popped in Waves it became the soundtrack to the days that followed.  I found myself air-drumming in my car to “My Life Is A Chase Dream (And I’m Still Having Chase Dreams).”  I found myself terribly aware of my girl voice when trying and failing to scream lyrics to “Alleviate.”  That did not stop me.  Sure I got looks from those in cars that drove past me BUT I did not care. I felt like I was 16 years old and at Warped Tour again.  Those days before med-school ruined the summer for me (UV-B rays are the enemy, wear sunblock).  Hello pale skin and hello Moving Mountains.

These Purchase, New York natives are: Gregory Dunn (guitar/vocals), Nicholas Pizzolato (drums), Mitchell Lee (bass), and Frank Graniero (guitar/vocals).  Waves is their 4th release and is composed of 10 tracks.  When I first heard the record it felt very familiar. It reminded me of stuff I had been listening to a few years back.  But it was different in the sense that it was not monotonous.  No double bass pedal, insert screaming, now sprinkle in some singing equation here.  Each track had its own punch and it was still raw.  Blend Acceptance, Paper Rival, and Underoath if you will.

Moving Mountains have a lot of things going for them with the sound on their album. The drums, the guitars, the vocals are all incredibly paired.  They are often compared to earlier Thrice and you can hear the Dustin Kensrue-esque vocals on songs like “My Life Is A Chase Dream (And I’m Still Having Chase Dreams).”  “Tired Tiger” and “Once Rendering” have these eerie violin lines throughout them.  “The Cascade” and “Alleviate” have a more apparent bass line and softer-more fluid vocals.  “Where Two Bodies Lie” the single off the album has heavier guitar paired with more melodic vocals.  But there are also songs like “Furnace Woods” and “Always Only For Me” that just bring it, whatever it is.  I dare you not to head-bang, air drum, air-guitar, sing/scream-whatever it is you do to this one.

Some fans were left disappointed after listening to Waves, half expecting another record like Pneuma.  In between Pneuma and Waves there was 4 years though.  It is unrealistic to expect a band to not do any transitioning or evolving in 4 years time.  Some apparent differences are more lyrics, shorter songs, and more vocal work.  It is hard to not swoon to how they paired the instruments with the vocals on this album.  The lyrical themes on the record are similar to that of their past records.  Dealing with wanting to move on, “wait for the air to stop/then wake up/come up/hold your head in place/but shake off your thoughts” in “Parts In Different Places,” and hoping things will work out in the end, “when everything is forced to fall in place/ I’ll find my own/you’ll find your own embrace,” in “The Cascade.” All in all it is undeniable that this album in its entirety is a great listen.  I imagine it is a record that will play incredible live.  Moving Mountains is currently on the Vans Warped Tour and you can catch them on the Nintendo 3DS Stage.

Moving Mountains
Official | iTunes

Rating: 7.5/10

Thoughts?