The Cool Moonmist Mountain Band: Fire Sign EP – Review

The Cool Moonmist Mountain Band returns with new studio EP Fire Sign, creating a tailored and authentic sound of positive energy amidst dance beats.

Jared Sand, the man behind The Cool Moonmist Mountain Band, has an impressive way with music. His last live record, Live In Studio 11/14 created sounds and synths that melded and mixed into each other, leading to a record that was as much one piece as it was separate entities. New EP Fire Sign takes a completely different stance by moving to the studio and working on four separate pieces that each bring something different to the table. Each has its own energy, but still the token Moonmist sound that plays on downtempo ambience at times and bass-heavy psychedelia at others.

Opener Dope begins with comforting and vibrant sounds that fade in and out of your consciousness before reverberating synths and thumping drums form a riff for the rest of the piece to work around. A small break-down section helps the listener take stock of where the track is at before mercilessly transporting you back into its main themes amongst added layers and interesting riff changes.

The Cool Moonmist Mountain Band - Fire Sign EP

If Dope had a penchant for the recent popularity in lo-fi music, this is carried on and built upon in the aptly named Lofi Spliff. Featuring a bit more energy than any mainstream Lo-fi music, the track relies on a heavy dose of the psychedelic and positive energy to throw you into a landscape of sonic sounds, creative synths and an intermittent bassline working well in the background.

Super Automatic takes tips from the East with its melodies and atmosphere that are skillfully layered to create something unique and dextrous. There are also subtle hints and free forms of Jazz that playfully add to the floaty atmosphere. This is all rolled into an electronic dance bubble that feels like a warm hug as synths rise and fall in a downtempo piece that is one of the most interesting on the EP.

The record ends with Let The Dust Settle. Sand pulls out all the stops with more space-age psychedelia amongst grounded instruments such as bongos and floaty electric guitars creating a feeling of peace and sincerity that you wouldn’t expect from two such opposing instruments. This is all transfused together as fast-paced drums take everything on a supersonic journey amongst heavenly synths and rattled beats. 

Fire Sign EP shows that Jared Sand is not only skilful at creating live music on-the-fly but also hitting up the studio to create shorter pieces that can delve into your mindset just as well. The way the sounds and manipulated and brought in and out of the music with ease is impressive, with each synth and sound tailored to perfection to bring something new to each track. In a couple of instances, it may have been interesting for the tracks to be a little longer to truly develop the ideas held within, but I get the feeling the EP wanted to try and make sure everything was tailored and tight to see how this would work. Perhaps in a future full-length, this firm base could be discovered even further.

Score: 4/5

By Jamie Parmenter

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