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Mount The Mountain

Napalm (2017)
Rating: 8/10

Before we had this drug adoring, Black Sabbath-worshipping genre of music called “stoner rock” we had a little something called “biker rock”, whose roots can be traced back to the 60s with, well, a substance infused, counter culture; acid rockers like Blue Cheer, Steppenwolf and, believe it or not, The Grateful Dead, and the nomad MCs who dug these bands.

Hell, Blue Cheer was managed by a Hell’s Angel named Gut, and lest we forget that infamous little festival called Altamont that Santana, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Jefferson Airplane and The Rolling Stones played that lives in infamy. By the mid-70s, however, biker rock was relegated to a section of pop culture wedged somewhere between the drive-in B-movie and the rural, honkey tonk, juke box.

Why do I bring this up? Because that’s where Australia’s Mammoth Mammoth seems to fit in most comfortable – biker rock and gear head culture. Mount The Mountain is just that. It’s outlaw rock ‘n’ roll, it’s unpredictable, it’s dangerous, and so it’s no surprise that the Mammoth boys refer to their sound as “Good-time-murder-fuzz… that sometimes kills unicorns…” since Mount The Mountain is the sheer embodiment of all hell breaking loose. Songs like ‘Hole In The Head’, ‘Kickin’ My Dog’ and ‘Hard Way Down’ reek of stale beer and fistfights. It’s a wall of guitar shred that knocks you over with the opening chords of the title track to the last song, a cover of Kylie Minogue’s ‘I Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’.

At just 11 songs, clocking in at 44 minutes, this is one hell of a bad ass record; abrasive, 70s inspired, brawl music. These Aussie natives, known for living a hard life of “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” have finally nailed that perfect record they’ve been inching towards with earlier releases. ‘Mount The Mountain’ is all guts and glory with a few chipped teeth and a black eye to show off.

Mammoth Mammoth’s sound on this record has less to do with stoner rock and more in common with outlaw rock ‘n’ roll, as I mentioned before. Musically, this band feels more on par with the likes of Nashville Pussy, Hank Williams III and The Dwarves than, say, Holy Serpent or Tombstoned. Mount The Mountain is a journey into danger, it’s the perfect meeting ground of Bon Scott era AC/DC and David Allen Coe; high intensity hard rock with a metallic edge, and if it has any stoner rock influence at all, maybe Orange Goblin, à la Frequencies From Planet Ten (1997), but that’s stretching it a bit.

I can appreciate this record for what it is and what Mammoth Mammoth has crafted, which is everything we’ve talked about up to this point. It doesn’t purport to be anything but denim and leather, biker rock. Mount The Mountain deserves your attention and a serious spin at that. So, pour a pint and give the devil what he asks for – Mammoth Mammoth turned up loud.

Theron Moore

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