Mammatus – The Coast Explodes
|By Jayaprakash Satyamurthy|
|Tuesday, 20 November 2007|
|Big, groovy psychedelic jams, stoner-friendly riffs, somewhat twee but oddly abstract vocals, bizarre folk influences, dolphin sounds – Mammatus has a lot of interesting elements coming together, and the end result is well worth listening to. Mammatus walks that fine line between idiosyncrasy and complete bollocks several times, and they always come down firmly on the listenable side, which is a bigger achievement than if they hadn’t tried stretching out at all.
‘The Coast Explodes’, Mammatus’ second album is ushered in and out by two mammoth, over-12 minute jams. ‘Dragon Of The Deep Part 3 (Excellent Swordfight)’ starts with an extended bout of spacey noodling that should have Hawkwind fans reaching for the Huw Lloyd-Langton comparisons. From there, it moves through a brief interlude of guitar noise into very chilled-out stoner territory. ‘The Coast Explodes’, the title track, is simply gorgeous – a huge, pulsing jam that’s laidback and hypnotic, harkening back to stoned 70s jams, 90s desert blowouts and setting a new template for 21st century opiate-addled tune-making.
In between, the song ‘Pierce The Darkness’ moves from a faux-Oriental lead-in, complete with gong, through grooves and melodies that are gentle but persuasive, dreamy but sinewy. There are some great changes here and some very effective and restrained background keyboard layering. The song almost gets too abstract for its own good at one point, but then the soaring melodies return just in time, leading into a transcendently gorgeous end-sequence. ‘The Changing Wind’ is perhaps the most challenging listen here, with its folk allegations, but it rewards repeated listens.
Psychedelia is no longer something that simply references a bunch of acid-happy 60s and 70s sounds. If you’re into the guitar-oriented, stoneristic sludge-happy thread of psychedelic music, there is much to rejoice about in Mammatus’ sophomore effort.
Label: Holy Mountain