Pink Mountaintops, 'Outside Love' (Jagjaguwar)

Critical Mass
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by Jessica Suarez

"Never let the bastards bite back," Pink Mountaintops frontman Stephen McBean claims on the rustic singalong "Holiday." But dude has no problem biting first. Lyrics like "I would die to save your soul" ("Execution") and "You can suck out the blood / But you can't kill the heart of my love," from the humming ballad "Vampire," sound like they flew straight off the page of a Stephenie Meyer novel. Though McBean, who also leads Vancouver spliff-rockers Black Mountain, invites a slew of guests with diverse musical associations (Jackie-O Motherfucker, Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Whiskeytown), the album still yawns with homogeneous campfire acoustics. But when you have friends like these, who needs songs?

Listen: Pink Mountaintops, "Vampire"

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