Erika Wennerstrom promises early in the record that she’s “gonna see what tomorrow brings,” that she’s “gonna make it to the midnight train.” As much as you want to believe her, there’s a sinking sense that she’s not going to make it that far. This is the Heartless Bastards’ not-so-secret weapon: a powerful, complex voice that sounds like it belongs to a woman about to unravel. Although unwavering in conviction and bleeding blue-collar aggression, Wennerstrom’s husky tenor hangs on by a thread. She could be Cat Power’s Midwestern cousin. She’s at her best on The Mountain’s title track. Against a whining pedal steel and a tumultuous undercurrent of percussion, her voice stubbornly climbs, straining to reach its peak, and then steadily drops back down to earth. It’s one of the album’s noisiest tracks, and not coincidentally, its finest. The Mountain sees the Ohio-bred trio taking a substantial step away from the bluesy rock of their first two albums, allowing for quieter, dusty road ballads to form its bulk. “Had to Go” is a seven-minute expanse of lonely banjo plinks, strings and Brokeback Mountain-esque solitude. But the heartbreak turns boring about halfway through; this, unfortunately, is representative of the album as a whole. The Bastards get so stuck in a sad-sack trance that the album’s midsection manages to be bland, even with that big ol’ voice front and center.