The Cool Moonmist Mountain Band Lights it Up on Fire Sign EP

By Deuce

It helps to keep an open mind before foraying into the sonic territory known as Fire Sign, the recently released Extended Play from The Cool Moonmist Mountain Band. Similar to the name of the artist, this four-cut collection is likely dissimilar to just about anything you’ve heard before, and makes very few pretensions to align itself with any particular genre, style, or feel for any significant length of time.

After all, this is a self-proclaimed band consisting of one man: Jared Sand. Quite naturally, then, he’s not only the band’ sole performer, but also its lone producer and keyboardist in this dense, synthesizer-heavy outing. Cliché though it might seem, the pervading motif through this assortment of sounds and tempos is likely the psychedelic mind alteration strongly alluded to in the fine print. After all, with tunes entitled “Dope”, “Lo-Fi Spliff” and “Super Automatic”, it’s not surprising The Cool Moonmist Mountain Band is headlining (not just performing) at this year’s Hempfest in Seattle the weekend of August 16th at Myrtle Edwards & Centennial Parks.

That said, there’s a kickback, really free type vibe found throughout the recordings on this collection, beginning with the deliberate chaos of “Dope”. The most distinguishable feature on this one is the dubstep-esque bassline that holds the piece together, leaving Sand room to traverse the heavens and earth with an array of synthesizer work that seems bereft of direction, yet still, somehow, gets you there all the same.

The artist steps into even more rarified turf on “Let the Dust Settle”, which sounds a little frenetic with its ethnic percussion and distinct Far Eastern feel of its moody keys. The drums don’t drop in earnest until almost a minute and a half’s gone by, while the bass picks up the pace more than halfway through the number. You can almost feel things—whatever they are—dropping all around you, transporting you who knows where as Sand serenades you on this one.

“Super Automatic” is probably the most familiar sounding record in the batch, and even that’s saying something. It’s an uptempo number, but the drums slowly take their time for a curious study in contrast. The bass is undeniably rotund, keeping listeners moving in place. Conceptually, the EP works as a coherent collection of tracks that leaves you wondering just where, exactly, The Cool Moonmist Mountain Band can possibly be heading next.    

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