Mountain Con

Mountain Con


What if the Velvet Underground made "I'm Waiting for the Man" with a Hip Hop producer? What if the Stooges jammed with Check Your Head-era Beastie Boys? Answer these riddles and you will be pretty close to the sound of Mountain Con's 3rd full length album, Sancho Panza.


“Always one of the most likely bands to be the next “it” from Seattle. If this record doesn’t do it, there is something wrong with this world.” – John Richards, KEXP 90.3FM

Mountain Con is a poster child for the current cataclysmic upheaval underway in the music industry. Here is a band that, on their newest album Sancho Panza, record themselves, produce themselves, mix themselves and promote themselves. Like many groups these days (such as The Arctic Monkeys and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) Mountain Con aren't waiting around for the music business to get over its identity crisis--they are taking matters into their own hands.

It was a hard fought battle to get to the position of artistic autonomy they find themselves in now. There were big time LA producers, hot up-and-coming labels and a publishing deal with one of the big four. It would sound as if they had it made, yet a few years ago Mountain Con found themselves in a state of utter music biz limbo--shelved, ignored and lost in a holding pattern.

For Mountain Con, going it alone was a natural move. They have always been the outsiders, both nationally and within the local Seattle music scene. Five of the six members are from Missoula, MT (the other is from a small town in Colorado). From the beginning, they never fit in with what was being played in Seattle's many rock clubs.

For Sancho Panza they built a new project studio from the ground up in a warehouse space in Seattle's gloomy industrial district. The setting and the space proved to be a perfect backdrop for the groundbreaking new music the band began to record. They then began to build their own samples through endless sessions of jamming, overdubbing and looping. The result is a new rock hybrid that sounds like the Velvet Underground letting Kanye West remix "I'm Waiting for the Man", or better yet, the Stooges jamming with Check Your Head era Beastie Boys. It sounds like proto-punk but with beats – like hip hop with no rapping.

Mountain Con lead singer James Nugent writes in a style that recalls both Bob Dylan and The Clash, singing about everything from crazy Roman emperors to rockets made out of garbage cans with a distinctive delivery that sits some place between the rhythmic energy of hip hop and the traditional talking blues of American folk music. Unlike many contemporary rock bands, Mountain Con aren't afraid to step outside the genre's increasingly narrow boundaries.

"If you want to know what rock will sound like in ten years, just listen to Mountain Con," says Nugent. It's a pretty outlandish claim, the kind that musicians later wish they could take back. But one listen to Mountain Con's latest album, Sancho Panza, and you’ll begin to think Nugent has a point.


Sancho Panza (LP) - Hidden Peak 2006
Dusty Zeros Dirty Ones (LP) - Hidden Peak 2004
The MC Stands For Revolution (LP) - Hidden Peak 2000
The Highpoint Project (EP) - Self Released (1999)