Come with me on a journey through time and space, to the world of Early Mammal. In an alternative reality not dissimilar to our own where European squat dwelling, space rock adventurers arrive in Detroit, Motor City in an era very much like our own early 70’s and set up a commune with the local punks, dedicated to taking music further…. out…..there. Smell the motor oil! Feel the bad vibes! Experience the hallucinogens!
Devouter Records seem to be trying to carve a niche for themselves releasing heavy psyche, experimental blues and stoner records, and this debut from the London three-piece will do their reputation no harm at all.
It reminds me vaguely of QOTSA‘ s ‘Songs For The Deaf’, in that it feels like a journey, or should I say trip. Each track bleeds into the next and the vocals of Rob Herian are buried, detached like a car radio at the limit of its signal.
‘Right Hand’ is a dusty Earth(y) intro rather than anything of particular note but leads into ‘Final Witch’ and already we’re hanging out of the windows of the car, shirts off, howling at the sunrise, ripped to the tits on acid. Wow! This promises to be one he’ll of a road trip. But Early Mammal aren’t quite up to it.
Like any journey there are ups and downs, moments of excitement and quieter periods, delay and a feeling of time standing still. The moments of greatest excitement are provided when the band kick it up a gear and create a kind of Captain Beefheart meets The Stooges in the desert vibe. ‘Demon or Saint’ with it’s ominous invitation to the woods impresses, especially when the huge stoner riff emerges. However, some of the instrumental passages aren’t quite as atmospheric as the band possibly hoped for.
‘Coming Back’ all ebbing and flowing rhythm is quite enjoyable but the similar companion piece ‘Going Out’ ruins the US road trip vibe I’ve created for it by having samples of the London underground all over it, which tends too shatter my romantic reveries. It does show that the band aren’t totally trapped in the 70’s though, as Sunn O))) and Boris comparisons float to the surface during the mellower droney periods. Of the instrumentals, ‘Checking the Bullshitter’s Queen’ is the only one to put the peddle to the metal and shake things up, for which you are very grateful. You can’t wait to crack the beers open and shout at pedestrians as it riffs away to fuzz heaven.
This album shows Early Mammal have real potential, and they may well evolve into a very impressive beast. Thanks for the ride guys.