On the back of the release of their debut EP I Swore I’d Never Speak of This Again at the tail end of 2016 we caught up with Toy Mountain’s Callum McLune (Guitars/Vocals) to find out a little more about their influences what they’re listening to.
“I feel like we are definitely a band who are a sum of our influences. The reason we toe the line so tightly between more aggressive, passionate post-hardcore and that trademark soul-bearing emo of the late ’90s and mid-noughties is that somewhere historically, through other bands we’ve played in, we’ve always been into heavier music, but the “new wave” of emo bands like Touche Amore, La Dispute, Balance & Composure et al. had a huge effect on the way we approach writing.
TOUR: MUST LISTENS
There are a few records that are absolute staple listening for us every time that we leave for a run of a shows.
Artist: Pianos Become The Teeth
Album: Keep You
Track: “Say Nothing”
PBTT released ‘Keep You’ roughly around the time that we did our first ever run of shows with Press to Meco in 2014. We had this record on repeat the whole time we were away, and because it was in mid-December, the highlands were buried in around 4-feet of snow. Say Nothing reminds me of the long drive through the Cairngorm mountains to the second show in Inverness, with the landscape blanketed in pure white and the day drawing to an early close. The song itself is an atmospheric slow-build with some of the most personal, self-confessional lyrics PBTT have ever produced. An absolute masterpiece and a personal touring favourite.
Album: Are We All The Same Distance Apart
Track: “A Few Peaceful Days”
Hearing the single ‘Tired Eyes’ from the first Crooks EP ‘Nevermore’ was an absolutely pivotal moment for our band. We played that song to absolute death and naturally, eagerly anticipated the full-length they would inevitably follow it up with. When they dropped ‘Are We All The Same Distance Apart’, it automatically became essential tour listening for us. “A Few Peaceful Days” epitomises everything that we take joy from in music, including heavy sections, personal lyrics, constant slight changes in progression and creative ways to develop musical ideas and themes throughout each song. You can tell that every song has been agonised over for hours musically and the attention to detail in the vocal harmonies is astounding.
Artist: Rolo Tomassi
This record means a lot to us for a few different reasons. Firstly, it’s the reason we decided to research and work with our current producer Lewis Johns at The Ranch Production House in Southampton, where Rolo Tomassi’s ‘Grievances’ was recorded. Upon hearing the first single from this record ‘Opalescent’, I just loved everything about it. There was a subtlety in the production which was of exceptional quality but still retained a raw, aggressive, and almost lo-fi edge. It also really suited Rolo’s style of composition which develops at break neck speed and sometimes doesn’t allow you to come up for air. “Estranged” is an absolute riff-fest from arguably their most accomplished record to date which is essential listening for anybody interested in modern post-hardcore music.
CURRENT TOP TRACKS
Artist: Trophy Eyes
Album: Chemical Miracle
The new Trophy Eyes record came really out of the blue for most of us when they released two exceptional singles earlier this year in the form of “Breathe You In” and “Chlorine”. The record was released in full on the second day of our tour at the latter end of this year with I Cried Wolf, and we blasted that thing for the whole of the following 5 days non-stop. It’s an incredible record with a constant lyrical theme throughout that makes it feel like one complete piece of work rather than a collection of individual songs they deemed their best compiled onto a record. Everything from the polished compositions to the production value just screams quality.
Artist: Knuckle Puck
Admittedly, we have been on a little bit of a pop-punk binge recently, having been blown away by Knuckle Puck’s 2015 full-length ‘Copacetic’. There are loads of stand-out tracks on this record but the pick of the bunch has to go to “Pretense” for the pace at which it grabs you by the collar and throws you headfirst into a swirl of thrashy guitars and complementary vocal harmonies. The hook in this song is amongst the best I’ve heard from any genre in years, and will make you want to fall out with your parents because they won’t let you go skateboarding like you’re 14 all over again.
Artist: Touche Amore
Album: Stage Four
Track: “New Halloween”
Without mincing my words, Touche Amore is one of the reasons that our band actually exists. We share passion for lots of music, but Touche Amore is near the very top of that list, if not there already. When ‘Stage Four’ was released earlier this year we were understandably extremely eager to hear what the next offering was from them and were not disappointed. “New Halloween” is a personal pick from this record, just because I adore the way that Touche combine the most beautiful melodic guitar work with Jeremy Bolm’s trademark distressed vocal and the depth of their lyricism, which could stand alone as poetry. There are no two ways about it: Touche Amore could literally make nursery rhymes sound like screamo anthems.”
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