Bigger than Jesus, louder than Hell: Mammoth Mammoth hit the bricks - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #118

Self-proclaimed as the “greatest rock and roll band in the history of history”; lock up your daughters and your smaller livestock because Mammoth Mammoth are coming to your town sometime soon. Their star is in the ascendancy and it’s all set aboard an ironclad Trojan horse that’ll open up once in yer turntable and let out unrepentant Paranoidisms. Y’ can’t believe anything these guys say (even, perhaps especially under oath), but apparently “after a 13-day DMT bender in an abandoned women’s mental institution” they returned with this one-off 2012 highlight and instant barbarian seventies-inflected zaprock. In the same way Balt’s the Garn harnessed the power of proto-Moto’head and proto-Kiss, Mammoth Mammoth’s Mikey Tucker harnesses all these things in sunburnedly post-everything parody pastiche pulverisations, for a start his balls seem to be swinging somewhere south of his knees and he articulates with every breath that whenever he steps off his Harley after a long afternoon burning down some dusty backwater in Melbourne terrifying anyone who dares cross the road after dozing up on whatever he could find in the pockets of his inexplicably pristine leather trousers and remembering Death Race 2000 (I don’t say this for biographic detail here kiddies, for all I know he descales the kettle after helping his doting mother across the street – I’m talking pure rock chic, where the moment he’s ghostlike before the mic he ceases to be whatever he is, and becomes Mikey, singer for Mammoth Mammoth and ten-tonne beer-guzzling badass in all manner of forms) he gets all the girls he could ever want. He may, or may not (no doubt there are a great many of Melbourne’s young ladies could confirm or deny this) as he claims on this album, have “a tattoo on my chest that says ‘fuck you’” – but because of his rockstar cred and reputable histrionics, you believe him.

Mammoth Mammoth slaying dragons.
So it’s Torche, but without the nice edges, it’s Vincent Black Shadow’s post-Electric Eels thunder by way of Sabbath’s best Blue Cheerisms in the echoes of the rasping cough from High Rise’s stolen Benzadrine inhaler. Those of us who live on the noisier side of life, who acknowledge that somewhere out there is something much greater than this, a perpetual adolescence and the only way to get this is to ride aboard a wave of thunderously heavy, perpetually adolescent music that embraces and immortalises the same sentiments as we wish to see embraced and immortalised; the music we’ve imagined and discussed; as a noise rock freak, every so often, one of these records that comes along and is resolutely, undeniably and perpetually where it’s at and demands multitude listens to fully comprehend what, on the surface, you knew midway through the first spin; that a rock and roll composed of simple instruments, articulating simple ideas (rock and roll is after all “simple music for simple people” as its critics would detract) is far from simple. Nailing down exactly how the band nail the beauty not just in a thrilling moment of togetherness, but for the duration of the album and in every spin, in reasonable experimental conditions; this Mammoth Mammoth have mastered. I’ve spent many listens to the record (and it ain’t a long record because it blatts along at such a pace) and contemplating it’s testicular fuzzball bravado, as the guitar scrambles muddy and panting through the Royal Marine assault course and the bass jogs sweatily behind almost out of sight. I’ve contemplated the thunderous drum tapping that sets the whole never-lower-than-9000 RPM pace of the album and keeps the throttle pinned and the needle leaning down on a hundred the whole way across the choked and blasted desert. I’ve tried to pin down exactly what part of the nostalgic self-aware heavy-handed OTT bravado in Mikey’s vocal delivery. I even appreciate the necessarily brief diversions into pure Melvinite circa-Lysol post-Flipper mindfucking weirdness before diving back into another thousand mile-an-hour scuzz blast disguised as a rock song. I’ve come to terms with the less-than-great less-than-the-others middle-of-the-album middle-of-the-road (Up All Night) Demons to Fight and realised there’s nothing bad about the song, it’s just twice as long as the rest; more of everything, it actually contains a whole lotta the best out-of-context vocal lines (including the ‘Tattoo on my chest that say’s fuck you’, or rather ‘fooooog yooouh’). I’ve thought about the last two songs, the balladry and po-faced seriousness of Bury Me and the lowest, least interesting and least funny song on the record, I Want It Too which is really the one attempt at seriousness and comes off uninteresting, and would sink the album were it not for Mikey vocal macho bollocks turning the whole thing into a surrealistic machismo gag. I’ve tried to penetrate the meaning, decipher the allegorical significances that raise this record into the pantheon of 2012 greats and come up short. Then it hit me; I’ve been living my life to the pace of this record for the best part of a week, moving at a breakneck pace, and I’ve lived more in the last week than I have for a long time, I’ve done more. To attempt to understand the record is to miss the point of the trip. The trip is a motorcycle ride across the desert and through the deserted streets of Australia’s cities, and to attempt to understand that, to attempt to logicise it and pidgeon-hole it is to miss the only way of understanding it. The smell of oil evaporating on the carburettor, the feeling of the midday sun burning your skin, the speed hit keeping you going when in all other circumstances you’d pass out; that is what Hell’s Likely means. Turn it over, rev the throttle, keep going.

Written under duress by Steven.

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