Mammatus CD review [Holy Mountain]

Music Reviews
Mammatus CD review [Holy Mountain]
Mar 28, 2006, 23:58


I've been predicting the return of grunge as the next genre to be revisited as interest in the slew of faux 80s Gang of Four rip-off bands slowly fades into being passé, but it doesn't seem to be happening. Perhaps that's because the whole fire that “grunge” ignited never really went away—it just morphed into bands like Nickelback and Creed, without a doubt the Seattle scene's worst nightmare. Instead, there appears to be a handful of bands that seem more interested in exploring and re-creating music with deep roots in the heavier rock of the 70s. And while Aussie darlings Wolfmother win for most convincing Sabbath clone band, and Mastodon qualify as one of the most crushing of the prog-metal bands, Mammatus manage to fill a void that sits squarely in-between.

Haling from Corralitos, CA, a small town just outside of Santa Cruz, Mammatus are thick and riff-heavy, bringing to mind bands like Sabbath and Deep Purple; have enough psychedelic influence to invite a nod to Blue Cheer and Hawkwind, and are adept enough at integrating a thick buzz-saw drone to their work to channel Melvins at their anvil dropping finest. There are hints of Prog Rock here as well, and while I've always been a less-than-closeted fan of Prog, I found myself getting mildly annoyed with their penchant for endless jamming on a couple of the songs. This self-titled debut only features four songs, but it clocks in at a solid forty-five minutes. Noodley wah-wah is not usually enough to justify ten minute songs unless there is a little something extra to get my attention, so I found myself on the fence in a couple of spots. Nonetheless, I‘ve got to give major props for an ambitious first record, definitely worth it for serious fans of stoner rock. [Holy Mountain]

~Daniel House

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