Wombo – Keesh Mountain

Listening to Wombo has been one of the more fun and mind-bending experiences I’ve had in this year. Their 2020 LP Blossomlooksdownuponus is an album we’ve reviewed only a month ago, yet it was something that definitely left an impression on me. There’s just something so fun and stimulating about the weird and whimsical machinations of the Louisville art punk trio. It makes me feel like I’m lost in a fever dream full of fond memories and bright imagery. A month has passed since then and it seems we are spoiled for content, as they’ve just released their latest 4-track EP Keesh Mountain which adds even more dimensions to their already trippy world.

This short ten minute burst that is Keesh Mountain serves more like a lucid dream that comes right after the swirling tides of their previous offering. Short and sweet as these songs are, they have a quality to them that’s just as captivating. Frontwoman Sydney Chadwick breathes in lyrics with effortless spontaneity, while the instrumentation around her offers a groovy patchwork of oscillating tunes that feels like we’re staring into the eyes of a Cheshire Cat.

Opener “Ida Mae” is carefully constructed via minimal elements. A call-and response between bass and cowbell, a constant droning drums followed by the rising swell of synths that drive the harmony. All these converge to support Chadwick’s narration about a crazed character and their dysfunctional life. A personality that fits perfectly well within the established world of Wombo. 

“Just Like Time” is my highlight of this EP, and it’s one that has gotten stuck in my brain for days. In it Chadwick goes on a mumbling stream-of-consciousness rant with every verse starting with “It was just like that one time when…” before going on and on to several off-world tangents. Backed with alien synths and effects, this one feels aloof yet somehow poetic at the same time. 

Those looking for a dancy, catchy pop tune should enjoy “Dreamsickle”. This sounds relatively more ‘contemporary’ than most of their songs but it just goes to show that the band can play it straight and be just as good. 

Keesh Mountain closes with the jittery antics of “Situations”. A mash of crunchy guitars, hypnotic repetition and a wonderful bass groove. With every new offering the world of Wombo feels more vibrant, colorful and hypnotic. It’s a world I’d be happy to dive back into for a quick trip.

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