Album Review: Mount Rainier

Album Review, Anxiety Blanket Records, Ben Greer, Cassette, Long Beach Music, Rain Gregorio, WomenShelter of Long Beach -

Album Review: Mount Rainier

Photos and cover art by Ben Greer

Written by: Jasmine Navarro

Mount Rainier Long Beach Music  

 

Rolling Off the Tongue (Demos and Rarities ‘18-’20)

 

The latest release from Long Beach based Mount Rainier (aka Rain Gregorio) is a 12-track compilation of heartfelt lo-fi demos and deep cuts titled Rolling Off The Tongue (Demos and Rarities ‘18-’20) predating Gregorio’s 2021 EP World Behind Your Head. Rolling Off the Tongue is raw, emotive and intimate, providing a harmonious contrast to the more polished recordings of World Behind Your Head.

 

The album opens with ‘Baby Blue’, a minimal tune driven by a drum machine and Gregorio’s airy vocals–slightly reminiscent of Bon Iver. “Nothing’s gonna hurt me, I’ll roll with the punches,” he promises, in a way that sounds a little resigned. ‘Baby Blue’ sets the tone for the album, which feels more like a journal or a note to self. Voice recordings are peppered in throughout the tracks, played over a drum beat and stitched with Gregorio’s verses. Much like the album cover–a collage created by Ben Greer–this album is clearly a collage of moments marking the passage of time during a formative period in Gregorio’s life. Thus, listening along feels like a privilege; Mount Rainier is laying himself bare for everyone to see.

 

The album’s single, ‘Space Country’ is a more upbeat-sounding track that paints a picture of Gregorio as a lonely postmodern space cowboy reflecting on his solitude. The mixture of the “country” and “space” imagery is, albeit more abstractly, a recurring theme throughout this album, where Gregorio blends traditional country/folk sounds with a more modern indie-pop framework.

 Mount Rainier Long Beach Music Album Review

‘Cave River’ ends the album as Gregorio describes the last moments in a relationship, where both parties seem to feel estranged from each other. “Last night I slept in a bed I used to share with a friend from long ago / In the morning I pretend to have plans so I can spend my Saturday alone,” he confesses, with a heavy-hearted vulnerability that is all too familiar to anyone who has experienced the ending of a long-term relationship. The song fades out with the sound of the rain, both reflecting the artist’s sadness and promising rebirth.

 

Favorite tracks: i wish it was u, absence of birds (radio dept cover), baby blue, window

 

Rolling Off the Tongue (Demos and Rarities ‘18-’20) is available to listen to digitally on Bandcamp and has been released on cassette via Anxiety Blanket Records, with all proceeds being donated to WomenShelter of Long Beach.

 

 

 Listen Now:

https://mountrainier.bandcamp.com/

 

 

 

 about the author:

Jasmine Navarro is a queer afro-latinx musician and writer from Long Beach, CA. They play shows locally as Smooth Jas and are an emphatic supporter of the Long Beach music scene.

Jasmine Navarro  Stacks FX Blog Review Local Long Beach Music

Photo by Alexias Williams


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