Quite possibly the most important band to come out of Plattsburgh, NY, The Mountain Carol broke all preexisting rules of regional success with their atmospheric, jazzy electro-pop and quickly found themselves at the top of the heap with few true contenders.
Forged from the ashes of Townshendesque power-pop group The Tavi in 2011 and led by two reclusive musical stalwarts from the backwater town of Saranac, NY, a name more associated with a popular beer than popular music, the project took shape after guitarist Austtin Petrashune returned home from a hiatus-causing 2-year stint as a costumed fiddle player in a Hong Kong amusement park. Meanwhile, in between shifts at his day job as a parcel delivery driver, keyboardist and primary songwriter Bruce Wilson had forsaken the drums to hone his chops on the piano, developing a playing style reminiscent of jazz maestro Dave Brubeck while retaining the best of his long-beloved 60s pop influences, in particular the compositional ambition of Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys, crafting danceable epics accompanied by the quaint drum machine of a broken Casio MT-500 keyboard.
After a period of in-studio experimentation, gig-seeking frustration, and failed attempts at past-present reconciliation, Petrashune and Bruce struck oil when they reached out to upstate indie impresario Matt Hall, a multi-talented and well-connected Syracuse-cum-Plattsburgh native creative known for his innumerable bootstrapped musical releases under several aliases including, but not limited to, Marco Polio, Chakra Abuse, and Antwon Levee (not to mention his notoriety as auteur of the satirical online variety show affectionately titled “TRASHburgh”). Although a seasoned gigging drummer with Adirondack punk firebrands Comrade Nixon, infamous defunct rap collective Plattsburgh Home Team, and a short service in retro yawn-rock royalty Broken Arrow Hearts, among many others, Hall left his comfort zone to accept a position as The Mountain Carol’s percussionist, manager, and, for their first demo, de-facto producer. A Roland Octapad now pollinating The Mountain Carol’s spacious downtempo surf-funk with heavy accents equally inspired by dub and doom metal, the group was able expand their tonal palette far beyond their local contemporaries while keeping the edgy, improvisatory sensibility congruent with both the stoned Bonnaroo attendee and discerning hipster alike. While the band’s eponymous debut EP was released in a relatively straightforward manner, The Mountain Carol seems intent on manipulating the modern music consumer, releasing a trickle of live recordings, music videos, and cryptic artistic statements through a variety of media channels, and often first via their mysterious subscription fan-club “The Divine Council.” An unnamed conceptual 6-album cycle has been announced for release in 2018 on Third Eye Industries. ~ Kenwood Blockparty, Allmusic.com