Although Melbourne based rockers Mammoth Mammoth have been doing the rounds throughout Australia and beyond for just over eight years now and have released 4 albums and an EP, their latest offering Mount The Mountain was my first taste of the quartets brand of dirty, devil may care style of rock and roll, or, Heavy-Murder-Fuzz as the band describe themselves.
Oozing 70’s fuzz and grimy sleaze, right down to the cheeky, trippy NSFW album cover, Mount The Mountain contains 11 tracks of straight up, unapologetic hard rock and roll that feels as if you should ingest a minimum of 6 jugs of beer before cranking the album up to ear bleeding levels.
The band wear their influences on their sleeves, from the Led Zeppelin styled groove of single “Spellbound,” the AC/DC strut of “Hole In The Head,” through to the heavy Motorhead style crunch found in the songs “Wild And Dead,” and “Kickin’ The Dog.” It’s pretty obvious that the group are proud of emulating their heroes, but it has a tendency to stray a little into the territory of simple imitation rather than innovation more often than not.
While there is a lot to like throughout the 44 minute album, like the super catchy riffs from the title track “Mount The Mountain,” and the chugging “Epitome,” delivered by axeman Ben Couzens, I often found myself at odds with the albums production, which felt overly muddy. I’m pretty sure it was an intentional choice, possibly an attempt to try and capture the feeling of an old 70’s style record, but I felt in this case it did more harm than good.
Two other issues played havoc on my ears and OCD. First was the fact that it seemed as if Drummer Frank Trobianni was playing behind the beat and very slightly out of time during his fills. This again could be an attempt to capture the more freewheeling songs of days gone by, but in my opinion, the tracks would have benefited from a more locked in performance.
Secondly, while vocalist Mikey Tucker belts out the songs in the style of the great, late Lemmy Kilmister, he’s often sounding like he is yelling in an attempt to be heard above the music rather than with it, leading to many moments of his voice getting lost in the mix and quite a lot of strained notes and messy deliveries.
Overall, Mount The Mountain contains a decent mix of hard rocking tunes, the songs have a lot going for them, and I’m sure that these guys would put on a heck of a show, but the production, drumming and vocal delivery holds it back from being a solid album. Instead, it unfortunately makes the band sound messy and all over the place, and not in that great classic-band-ready-to-implode kind of way either. If that’s your thing, jump right in, if not, pass this by and check out the live show instead.