Mt. Doubt – The Loneliness of the TV Watchers [Scottish Fiction]

Mt. Doubt started out as chief songwriter Leo Bargery’s solo project, but after two full length releases the Edinburgh-based sextet have delivered their most collaborative work to date.

Though you might not guess from its curmudgeonly title, this EP is the first of Mt. Doubt’s work that actually feels like a group effort and this new release gives the listener plenty of meaty sounds to get stuck into.

 

There’s a touch of Arcade Fire in the shimmering effects of ‘A Natural Swimmer’ as Bargery’s doubled vocals thrust the record out of the gate; it’s a catchy, propulsive tune built on punchy bass and climaxing drum rolls.

Next up comes ‘Tourists’, the EP’s obvious single material, inspired by Bargery’s fear of flying, it’s got a hummable chorus, that plays darkly humorous lyrics off giant guitar chords and some neat female backing vocals, from Annie Booth, as Bargery contemplates whether he might be happier in ‘Southend in Sea’ and deploys the rather smart line “my aversion to aviation, keeps my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds”.

Appropriately for a song called ‘Reference Books’, track three crams a lot of words in, as Bargery’s bandmates leave him stretching to keep up.

The guitars here sound enormous and the frontman seems to be having fun as he drops in references to cult wrestler Giant Haystacks and American realist playwright Eugene O’Neill.

The last two tracks on the record, are more similar to Bargery’s early material; the downbeat indie ballad ‘Purity’ rolls into the sparse and keenly observed ‘Soft Furnishings’, the tracks whose refrain gives the EP its title.

With Bargery sofa bound he lashes out at the “drivel” on the TV but struggles to drag himself off the couch, but just as things start to get too introspective his bandmates join him with stately drums and questing guitar and by the end of the track the narrator may still not be making the most of his day, but at least he’s in good company – with this EP you will be too.

Words: Max Sefton

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