There are moments when the members of Westchester, New York’s Moving Mountains wonder if they should’ve been born a decade earlier. Their Triple Crown Records debut, Waves, harkens back to the early 2000s and finds inspiration from bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, Engine Down, Cave In, and Further Seems Forever.
“A part of us wishes we were a band that were emerging in 2001...but in a weird way, it motivates us to pick up where some of those bands left off,” says frontman Gregory Dunn.
Moving Mountains have sought to create something special, and Waves does an incredible job of proving that. The songs are teeming with resplendent, ethereal, guitar-driven atmospherics that slowly fade into your consciousness.
Gregory Dunn co-founded the band as a studio project in 2005 with drummer Nick Pizzolato. Dunn and Pizzolato wrote and recorded a self-titled demo EP that was leaked to the public in early 2006 and was followed by 2007’s Pneuma, which Deep Elm Records re-issued the following year.
“After we put out Pneuma, we formed a band to perform those songs live, and that’s when we got guitarist Frank Graniero and bassist Mitchell Lee,” explains Dunn.
That newly formed band’s first collective effort would be Foreword, a dense, 36-minute four-song EP that they released in late 2008 on their own label, Caetera Recordings. By this time, bands like Thursday, Say Anything, The Dear Hunter and Polar Bear Club had begun championing the band and inviting them on the road.
“The Say Anything tour was our first big, full U.S. tour, where we were playing in front of 1,000 people a day. We built up a ton of momentum and it just worked out. We’ve been so fortunate because it hasn’t been about trying to sell our band on people -- it’s been about trying to get in contact with them directly and then just crossing our fingers,” Dunn says.
The experience of watching crowds react to their basement creations heavily inspired them when they set out to begin work on Waves in late 2009.
“Our goal with Waves was to have someone be engaged from the start to the end,” declares Gregory Dunn.
Engaged they will be. With Waves, Moving Mountains has produced a powerful collection of majestic, post-hardcore songs that contain a textured urgency that reaches farther and harder than any of their previous work. Lyrically, the album speaks of loss and faith, intertwining topics that Dunn has long dealt with.
“When the band first started, a very close friend of mine passed away. That was one of the big motivations for all the lyrics on Pneuma. They’re very figurative and overly metaphorical, because I was embarrassed to talk about it at that time. With Waves, I said to myself that it's the last time that I’m going to write about it, so I’m going to be really blunt, honest and straightforward about the subject. Pneuma, Foreword and now Waves have all been about that... a lot of it is also my struggle with understanding faith and existence... and just about questioning those ideas--and most importantly--how to overcome that to appreciate what you have.”