Thought Forms Ghost Mountain Review

Album. Released 2013.  

BBC Review

Album two from the shoegaze trio boasts some outstanding moments.

Noel Gardner 2013

Presumably, Thought Forms were as surprised as the rest of us to learn that a new My Bloody Valentine album was to be released in the same month as Ghost Mountain.

The trio from the south-west of England have racked up nearly four years between their self-titled debut and this follow-up – a rather mundane gestation compared to the 21-and-a-bit My Bloody Valentine left between Loveless and m b v.

Thought Forms have also titled one of these eight songs Only Hollow, a self-admitted nod to Only Shallow from Loveless. The new My Bloody Valentine album has a track called only tomorrow. Shoegaze indie icons can be so cruel…

Only Hollow, as it happens, takes as many cues from garage rock and Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins as Kevin Shields’ mob. This, too, scarcely gives a clue as to what this eclectic and often disarmingly heavy opus offers.

Landing could be one of the meatier servings by Japan’s Boris, explosively opening the album by marrying depth-charge sludge guitar to near-soothing psychedelic effects.

Thought Forms’ use of low end is frequently (no pun intended) very satisfying: if not riffs, then the hypnotic droning backdrop to Burn Me Clean, at 13 minutes long easily Ghost Mountain’s epic.

Afon, a shivering, strung-out and almost shapeless abstraction of psychedelic folk, gets by on one rumbling bass note every 10 seconds or so.

At their least interesting – Sans Soleil or Song for Junko – Thought Forms sail a bit closer to the winds of generic post-rock (quiet reverb/loud feedback/rinse and repeat) than their grand ambitions might suggest.

Additionally, even the parts that are good are not always original; O, which concludes the album with Charlie Romijn’s icily blank vocals and heavy-gravity psych guitar, is hard not to hear as an homage to Philadelphian space-rockers Bardo Pond.

At least, until about five-and-a-half minutes, where all participants are seemingly given a jolt of electricity and O morphs into a yowling grunge would-be anthem.

Two albums in and Thought Forms are not yet the finished article, but boast outstanding individual moments, and will probably gift us a third album before 2034.

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