Austin-based band’s debut album Enjoy already compared to Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel.
Mount Pressmore (L-R): Kris Studebaker, Danny Anderson, Thomas Shaw, Alexei Sefchick. Photo by: Vanessa Reiser Shaw.
“Their jazz-juiced convolution is gentle, not orotund. Pretzel logic redux?” – The Big Takeover
“The lineup draws together four highly-skilled players.” – Relix
“It’s virtuosic, but it feels familiar. Zappa fans will hear a little bit of Frank.” – KUTX, Austin
“Called ‘an indie rock Steely Dan’ by more than one pundit, and with good reason.” – BLURT
“Jaw-dropping chops.” – Maximum Ink
“An ideal amount of technicality and accessibility.” – The Aquarian Weekly
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Already being compared to Frank Zappa (via a feature from Austin’s NPR-affiliate KUTX), Talking Heads, Steely Dan and Peter Gabriel, the “chop-pop” of Austin’s Mount Pressmore is just that: addictive earworms played with the utmost technical proficiency.
“Music was his religion,” says band leader Thomas Shaw of his father Robert Shaw, the 14-time Grammy winning conductor who brought his son up amid technical exercises, music theory, and classical recitals. “Then I heard Oscar Peterson and I was blown away,” Shaw remembers. He soon found B.B. King, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, and Fela Kuti.
Shaw’s unique musical education liberally colors Enjoy, Mount Pressmore’s debut album. All of the album’s compositions were charted and performed live by this schooled quartet, which in addition to Shaw, includes fellow New York Collective School of Music classmate, Kris Studebaker, along with bassist Alexei Sefchick and guitarist Danny Anderson, both graduates of Boston’s Berklee School of Music.
“There are three voices at play in the lyric,” Shaw says of “Vice-Presidential Material,” the latest track from "Enjoy" recently premiered by music discovery website GroundSounds. “They are those of the commoner, the candidate, and the fourth estate. The candidate’s refrain, ‘I know what it’s like,’ aspires to solidarity with the commoner; towards the conclusion, the language, rendered perfunctory, reverberates and ends within the echo chamber.”
Shaw continues, saying, “‘Counterfact’ is an invented word, made up for rhyming purposes; a contraction of ‘counterfactual,’ a conditional statement, whose nature would inherently contradict a bold expression thereof. Modal shifts in the bridge and the coda also seek to convey the more conflicted aspects of a political ambition, as well as the fears and anxieties that such a pursuit might engender.”
Enjoy by Mount Pressmore is out now on the band’s own Pressmore Records. Thomas Shaw of Mount Pressmore is available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.
(Pressmore Records, Out Now)
01. Here We Go
02. The New Regional Branch Manager
05. A Place in the Sun
08. Dawn, Bingham
Mount Pressmore Links
Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion