Mammoth: huge, gigantic, vast, immense, or Mammoth: A large extinct hairy elephant…
Mammoth Mammoth: “A huge, gigantic, vast, immense, large, hairy, ten-legged beastie very much alive and kicking!
I only ever caught Rose Tattoo live in concert once, opening for Rainbow way back in the early 80’s, but legendary vocalist Angry Anderson made his mark in so many ways. If I recall correctly, he had to be carried off stage with blood pouring from a head wound after he headbutted the mic stand, the amps, the guitarist… you get the picture. The bottle of vodka that he was swigging from being the main culprit. For the twenty or so minutes that he was on stage, he fronted one of the best rock n’ roll bands ever, and also one of the most notorious. Mammoth Mammoth remind me a lot of Rose Tattoo. Not because they are fellow Aussies, but for the same OTT relentless energy, the same forceful, driving, pull-your-teeth-out-with-a-pair-of-rusty-pliers nasty rock n’roll. Shrinking violets need not apply, this is rock n’ roll played the way that it was meant to be – loud and fun.
Opening track ‘Mount The Mountain’ is the longest of the eleven tracks featured on the album, weighing in at a lengthy near-seven minutes full of riffs, and a pulsating bass guitar groove spewing out of the speakers. Mikey Tucker’s vocals come from the time when men were men and didn’t talk about shit like feelings. Have a beer and nut up! His spoken segment towards the climax of the song is incredible. The unrepentant last words from a man on death row about to meet his maker. I keep coming back to the riffs though. Nasty rock n’ roll has to have riffs, and Mammoth Mammoth have them by the bucket load. ‘Spellbound’ highlights this with it’s spacey intro played out in front of a wall of riffs. It’s simplistic in it’s execution, but it’s a song that sinks its teeth into you and never lets go. ‘Kickin’ My Dog’ is a fast-paced romp in the style of AC/DC’s ‘Rocker’, and that’s the only comparison with Angus and Co that should be made with Mammoth Mammoth. The Melbourne boys are faster, less blues orientated, and more like Motörhead, they skirt along the border of rock and punk. ‘Epitome’ has a bounce that punks would love, but also enough Iommi-sized riffs to keep the metalheads happy, whereas ‘Hard Way Down’ is punk all the way. When the band slow it down, like on ‘Cold Liquor’, the sound takes on another dimension. A sludgier sound to begin with, before the tempo changes around the midway mark, and the throttle is released. The album ends with a fuzzed up cover of Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, but with a few subtle lyric changes. The word “boy” from the original is substituted for “dope”. It’s a fun cover, and shows off the sense of humour that Aussies are famous for!
If there is a gap in your life that Motörhead once filled, or even if your are in mourning over the Black Spiders hiatus, then check out Mammoth Mammoth. The real deal.
‘Mount The Mountain’ is available now through Napalm Records.
Review: Dave Stott