Mammatus: The Coast Explodes

By: Chris Pacifico

Mammatus are like a pack of warring Barbarians who’ve wandered off to the desert to cease their fighting and gather round the peace pipe. Earlier this year, an episode of The Sopranos – one that jumped the shark – ended with a scene that had America’s favorite roughneck goomba tripping on peyote in the desert and staring into a sunset while Calexico’s “Minas De Cobre,” a good song but ill-fitting for the scene, played. It would have all ended on a fine note had they used any song from Mammatus’s four-song, 40-minute epic, The Coast Explodes.

Scorched stoner metal with a smooth Krautrock glissade, this California foursome may sound as thick, groovy and absorbing as their trepidatious, blotter paper next door neighbors Comets on Fire but The Coast Explodes should also appeal to prog-metal fans. On one hand, Mammatus could work for the “thinking man” with his own collage radio metal show or podcast that frequently rocks the likes of Dysrhythmia, Mastodon, Behold, Meshuggah, Isis, etc. You know, the kid who wears the nerdy frames and has a couple of tattoos on his forearms. He'll surely appreciate numbers like “Dragon of the Deep Part 3 (Excellent Swordfight),” with it’s technical jazz, Weather Report-like fluctuations. On the other hand, this should also appeal to the hairy Neanderthal den of brutes that get rowdy and knocks over everyone with their beer guts at Fu Manchu or Clutch shows. And let us not forgot about the Hawkwind loving, Emerson, Lake and Palmer adoring headbangers who also hanker for a good game of Dungeons and Dragons. They’ll dig the band's gypsy wizard garb and mythical, J.R.R. Tolkien climaxes, which thunder through raging slabs of sludge rock led by singer-guitarist MammaAaron (all band members have the "Mamma" prefix). His creaking voice gets freaky to the hilt when Mammatus goes all Balkan folk-metal on “The Changing Wind."

Mammatus has toured alongside Acid Mothers Temple, so that right there should give you hint of the tree they bark up. But, they remain colossal in their own way. The first moments of the album may imply that Mammatus have the sound of towering giant apes - and they do sound big - but rest assured, this is pure psychedelic metal, stark and galloping, that goes down easy.

JamBase | Corralitos
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http://www.myspace.com/mammatus

[Published on: 10/23/07]

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