Were I to judge a book by its cover, then this release by Mammoth Mammoth would not require the deductive skills of Sherlock Holmes to assist in reaching a deduction. Let me see, the title is ‘Volume IV – Hammered Again’, whilst the illustration is a naked lass with large hand rolled looking cigarette on the go; it must be a stoner tribute to Black Sabbath, along the ‘Planet Caravan’ style of things, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong! From note one of ‘Life’s A Bitch’ these dirty Aussies set out an agenda to kick hippies in the balls and get the party started with a barrage of hard rock riffing, battered out in under three minutes of punk laden attitude. If this is stoner, what have then mixed with their sweet leaf?
‘Lookin’ Down The Barrel’ and ‘Fuel Injected’ add a nihilistic speed to the rock, sounding to all the world like a pissed off Lemmy, all stripped down beats and vitriolic switch blade lyrics snarled out with whisky breath. Not everything, however, is played at the one break neck speed, and ‘Electric Sunshine’ throws a mellow groove and fuzz to the guitar, the vocalist extolling the listener to “grab the sunshine”; I guess they must have had a nice buzz when this one was written rather than rattling like a motorhead! More classic influences abound, the intro to ‘Black Dog’ paying a respectful nod to the late Randy Rhoads’ ‘Crazy Train’, although in contrast the solo is a simple punk punch in the face. The pace changes again with the sludge laden ‘Promised Land’, a pounding rhythm and down turned guitar stomping across the track with hobnailed boots.
This ten track tribute to weed, speed, highs, hangovers and come downs finishes with the epic nine minutes plus of ‘High as a Kite’, a track that true to its stoner title starts with effects of waves rolling against a beach matched by laid back sustained guitars and a mellow bass and drums, whilst the vocals take on a Southern rock twang, even if the South of Lynnrd Skynnrd is many thousands of miles north of Melbourne where the Mammoth Mammoth lads hail from. The extra length of the track allows each musician to develop their sound, the guitar being layered up in true ‘Freebird’ style to circle around the relaxed and loose rhythm section.
With ‘Volume IV – Hammered Again’, Mammoth Mammoth have not produced an album that will please the shoe gazing introverted muso type; rather, they’ve pumped out ten tracks to blast out of the stereo to provide the sound track to a booze fuelled party to get wasted to. And why not?