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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Album Of The Day-Mammatus-"The Coast Explodes" (2007)

The Album Of The Day is "The Coast Explodes" by Mammatus.


Lord knows that the quintet has the perfect art and attitude down for its second album — the title alone promises a lot, as does the album art showing the band striking dramatic poses against a classically overwhelming West Coast sunset. This said, Mammatus are simultaneously great and a bit frustrating, and The Coast Explodes confirms this once again. Unlike a wide variety of their psych/drone/Krautrock-inspired peers, Mammatus are more open about loving prog chops and seeing what they can do with them — no sin at all, and certainly a lot of musicians have rescued and revamped approaches from the dead hand of Rick Wakeman solos and similar monstrosities. Where this works, as on the galloping midsection of the opening "Dragon of the Deep, Pt. 3 (Excellent Swordfight)" — and the title alone deserves praise — they ride a wild wave of maniacal sound that would fit in perfectly on any release by former tourmates Acid Mothers Temple, say. But there are moments throughout the album when the feeling is less utter insanity and more Nigel Tufnel explaining how his solos are his trademark (or alternately Soundgarden if they had played "Big Dumb Sex" completely straight), and while the line is thin by default it's still present, making it hard to resist a shake of the head even when it does sound like the coast is actually blowing up into tiny pieces. This all said, the feeling of a thick, warm-sounding release from 1971 or so is conveyed perfectly in the production, and moments like the queasy drone section of "Pierce the Darkness," shot through with a slow, zonked solo guitar melody, and the "weeble wobble" chants that help begin the far more wistful "The Changing Wind" are signs that this album comes down on the right side of things. (Ned Raggett, All Music Guide)

Track Listing:

01. Dragon of the Deep Part Three (Excellent Swordfight)
02. Pierce the Darkness
03. The Changing Wind
04. The Coast Explodes



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