Album Review: “Magic Mountain” by Black Stone Cherry

bscmmBlack Stone Cherry
Magic Mountain
Edmonton, KY
(Roadrunner Records)
“Keeping pace with their musical roots as artists”

Much like they did when they first formed in 2001, Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry has recorded an album that essentially reiterates their stylistic roots as a band: Hard. Southern. Rock-n-roll. Probably in that order, and maybe the best they’ve done yet considering they are probably Southern Rock’s unofficial, official torchbearers.

However, somewhat unlike their youthful formative elementary days, Magic Mountain’s topics are a bit more college-y, highlighted by more moments of verbal sultry bluntness than their previous three releases. Perhaps so blatantly so, that we can go ahead and officially add “stoner-rock” to their growing list of genre identifiers.

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The opening track, “Holding On To Letting Go,” sets a fast pace that rarely slows down throughout the album. Between the first single, “Me and Mary Jane,” and other tunes like “Peace Pipe” or the album’s title cut, there are enough marijuana-friendly references for this collection to be a modern day Cheech & Chong soundtrack. Where C&C go to Kentucky. Theoretically.

Of course, a Black Stone(d) Cherry album is never really complete until, in prideful anthemic-fashion, there’s a song that glorifies their home state, a place they’re not ashamed of being from. The tune in question this time is “Hollywood In Kentucky,” where the guys proclaim that  “KFC would still be Kentucky Fried Chicken” and where “you get your ass kicked if you talk about my mother.” The band then proceeds to close out the song with an instrumental guitar-fueled bluegrass-style jam session.


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*Jason Ashcraft is a freelance contributor for Performer Magazine, based out of Louisville, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee. You can read more random readings from him via his blog:

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