This week Glasgow quartet Toy Mountains return with a new EP called ‘I Swore I’d Never Speak of This Again’. Combining elements of alt-rock, math-rock and post-hardcore, the EP is a thoroughly compelling release that builds on the potential of their past releases. Lyrically songs such as ‘Hard Done By’ and ‘Full Circle’ take an introspective and emotional route that listeners can easily gravitate towards.
With such a thrilling and (somewhat) experimental sound, we decided to ask each member to pick out a track from an influential band.
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Mineral – If I Could
Callum McClune (Guitars / Vocals): I listened to Mineral’s 1997 record, ‘The Power of Failing’ every day during the recording of ‘ISINSOTA’. It’s an exceptional record with a dynamic sensitivity and sullen, self-confessional style that I think anybody who listens to our EP will know has had a huge influence on us. In no other song is this more obvious than ‘If I Could’, which is so vulnerable and fragile in its performance, it does an exceptional job of convincing the listener they’re hearing something that they shouldn’t.
PUP – Reservoir
Grant Malcolm (Bass / Vocals): PUP are a band that epitomise everything I love about being in a band myself from their no nonsense plug in and play attitude to the raw energy that radiates from their music and live performances. A great example of this is one of my favourite track of theirs, ‘Reservoir’. It is three and a half minutes of pure, unadulterated aggression and emotion and for me personally, that vibe is where I tend to connect with music the most.
Manchester Orchestra – The River
Greg Leyden (Guitars / Vocals): My own personal goal when recording this new EP was to create something that could convey that same aggression, and hope that at least one person listening could invest themselves emotionally and also take away that same feeling I get when I listen to PUP.
If I was to pick one band that influence the way I write, it would have to be Manchester Orchestra. Perhaps some people can see them as sort of un-experimental, but I feel that Andy Hull has written some of the most perfectly formed songs around. He manages to write lyrics about very personal topics from his own experiences but no matter where I am in life, I end up thinking “that song is actually about my life… why is he writing about me… again” which is one of my favourite things in music.
From listening to them, I’ve learned so much about how I want to write lyrics and how to piece together a song. I don’t think I’ll ever manage to achieve there level of songwriting but I will never stop trying. One stand out song for me has to be ‘The River’.
Pianos Become The Teeth – Repine
Matt Cowie (Drums / Vocals): My two greatest influences/idols are without a doubt David Haik of Pianos Become The Teeth and Brad Vander Lugt of La Dispute. Two drummers who don’t just play their instrument, their instrument is an extension of their own limbs.
When I discovered La Dispute in 2009, I learned that I had been playing drums wrong my entire life. I started on a journey of learning to express myself through my drums, rather than just hitting them as hard and fast as I could. They taught me how important it is for a drummer to be dynamic and to add to the story behind your songs with every stroke.
Brad and David are both experts at painting a picture with their orchestration. Every note is so extremely deliberate whilst seemingly accidental. Two true masters of their instrument and I try to channel their influence into every song I write.
‘I Swore I’d Never Speak of This Again’ by Toy Mountains is released on November 25th on Crooked Noise Records.