Fort Collins has no shortage of feel good, stoner-friendly music. Colorado has become Weed Central in the last decade, exhibited by the acts headlining Red Rocks and playing April 20th every year, and the vibey feels at what many call “Loveland Woodstock,” the local favorite festival Arise.
Since their inception, MountainUs has been leading the way in Northern Colorado’s expanding reggae world. The Fort Collins fivesome has a new EP, Captured Live At Chimaera, which holds the kind of energy that would never be attainable from a studio recording.
The record kicks off with the eerie love song “Lion and the Wolf,” allegorically comparable to the classic tale of the beauty and the beast: Two figures find a love so strong and so raw that only two animals could serve as accurate representations.
Another notable track is “Red Rum,” which shifts the vibe of the record from Bob Marley to Peter Tosh, going from love-based lyrics to a straight protest tune. The song thematically covers police brutality, inequality and drug violence, but the cherry on top is guest vocal appearance by Luna Shade frontman Andrew Ricci.
To date, many MountainUs fans would claim that the band’s standout track is the fourth on the album, “Show Me the Light.” The band has said that the chorus came to singer/guitarist McGill Jackson very spontaneously; as if Jah himself planted it into his head during a jam session.
Finally, the cornerstone of the live EP is the over-seven-minute rendition of “Take Me Out.” It’s a quintessential reggae composition that takes the band and listeners on a spiritual trek, showcasing the utmost of Jackson’s guitar skills and leaving the listeners wanting more.
Captured Live At Chimaera from MountainUs not only captures the pure, raw energy of the band, but it solidifies their continued position on the forefront of Colorado reggae.