Mounties is many things to many people, not the least of whom are the three band members united beneath the moniker. They’ve called it everything from “a creative accident” to “a warehouse of musical ideas,” but Hawksley Workman’s take is the most powerful: “This band saved my creative life.”

Most simply put, Mounties is the musical union of three industry veterans in Workman, Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat and Fur Trade, and Ryan Dahle of Limblifter and Age of Electric. They’ve all done other things you’ve heard of, too.
Their debut LP, 2014’s Thrash Rock Legacy, wiped away the stigma attached to the term “supergroup” with an inspired and engaging collection of songs like the sprawling indie opus “Tokyo Summer” and rhythmic summer banger “Headphones.” Calling it eclectic almost doesn’t do it justice, and that’s even truer for the trio’s sophomore release.

Heavy Meta is a curious and compelling mishmash of ideas, eras, and experimentation. It inevitably includes the bits of genius that made its predecessor – and each member’s individual projects – worth hearing and takes it all to new heights and new dimensions. Vocal melodies, wobbly vintage synth lines, and staccato guitar leads seemingly sprout from nowhere yet never steal focus from the songs and emotions they support.

“The first record came right out of space,” begins Dahle, “and didn’t seem to be within the boundaries of the genres we thought we were in as individuals. This time, that goes a few steps further; we didn’t want to be limited to the way we created the first record, or limited at all.”

As such, Heavy Meta came together like a musical mosaic – parts written collectively patched with parts written alone. Some were recorded in bedrooms and others in basements; home studios and iconic studios. Bays even did much of his work beside the fire at his rustic middle-of-nowhere cabin. Everyone engineered and everyone mixed, with some songs entirely reshaped through literally hundreds of revisions. “For me, the art of the process is what’s so rewarding about Mounties,” Bays shares.

Ask any one member just what it is that makes their union so special and they’ll point to the other two. “I don’t see it as what I bring to the table,” Workman muses. “I see it as what Ryan and Steve bring out of me. We’re fans of one another, and so the best parts of who we are – our true musical characters – can shine through. We’re never trying to emulate anything in this band.”

Indeed, Heavy Meta makes it clear that these three have cemented their sonic identity. Tracks like “No XTC” and “Flags of Convenience” are as lively as they are diverse, loaded with twisting melodies and strange-but-satisfying meters, whereas “Burning Money” and “Longplay” are sticky, more straightforward rockers. Then there’s the hypnotic slow burn of the slithery “Python Status.” Despite the wide array of influence and countless moving parts, though, the collection remains cohesive, uncompromising, and undeniably Mounties.

The songs do take new shapes from the stage – as does the band, when three becomes five with the addition of Parker Bossley and Cary Pratt. It’s here in the live realm that Mounties best showcase their prowess as musicians and performers, translating the limitless experimentation of their records into an organically orchestrated musical experience like no other.

“We’ve done everything we wanted to do on our own,” Dahle says. “Now, we get to achieve things we haven’t achieved as individuals,” and perhaps the most significant of those is making music that defies and transcends individualism – music that could only be the product of this particular union of unique creative minds.

Band Members:

Hawksley Workman (Singer/Songwriter)
Steve Bays (Vocals/Keyboards)
Ryan Dahle (Vocals/Guitar)

Parker Bossley
Cary Pratt