Climber

The Mystic

Sparklet Records 2010

The fourth album from Portland's dreamy synth pop/rock quartet is an album that possesses both diversity and maturity.  Right out of the gates, Climber hit with the best track of the album, The Simians Speak.  A strutting beat and a sci-fi angel to a rock jam which questions what it would be like if we taught the apes to speak.  Michael's voice is filled with both counter-intuitive qualities of doubt and authority.  A funky bass line and psychedelic keyboard soundscapes paint a monotone (in a laid-back way) texture on Stepping Into New Rooms.  During critical points in the song shimmering keys that remind me of Depeche Mode at their dreamiest dance like a distant merry-go-round.  I am reminded by the Alterna-pop of Tegan and Sara on I May As Well Have A Monocle.  Somber keys and the vocal delivery really bring this reference into focus.  Climber update an 80s New Wave style on Remember the Renaissance with its throbbing electro-synth and add a hand-clapping, buried-funk passage that leads into a dark industrial hum.  I Have Seen Everything is a bouncy and light pop musing full of whimsy.  A beefy rock riff energetically lumbers out of the speakers on We Are the New Men, but this is a but misleading as the song is drops into some calm nocturnal drifting.  The track muscles back up into its rockin' alter-ego and then alternates its personality throughout the song's life.  Climber are quite clever in the lyrical department and Michael's unhurried vocal delivery sets the tone for the album.  The Mystic is an album that is unified in its feel despite the varied approaches to each song.  And that is a sign of maturity.  Climber have constructed an album of futuristic synth pop/rock that dwells in sedated joy and confident introspection.