I first encountered Mammoth Mammoth with the release of their previous album, 2013’s “Vol. III – Hell’s Likely”. And although admittedly it was the naked hippy chick on the front cover that first enticed me, the album ended up being in my top ten albums list for that year, not just because of the cover art (although that probably helped) but because these down-to-earth Aussie rockers’ music was a simple yet effective jolt of fuzzy, doomy, stoner rock n’ roll that mixed in all of the greats – AC/DC, Motörhead and Black Sabbath being the obvious reference points – but spat it back at you with a confidence and attitude that was completely their own.
And now in 2015 they have returned with “Vol: IV – Hammered Again”, and if their previous album was an invite to the party then this album is the party playlist, and make no mistake – these guys are taking no prisoners. To get you off to a headbanging start the opening ‘Life’s A Bitch’ is the best Motörhead song Lemmy and co. never wrote, and that’s not taking away from Mammoth Mammoth at all – the song is loud, hard and fast with enough ‘don’t-fuck-with-me’ attitude to start a bar fight. Mr. Kilmister would be very proud.
But the fight doesn’t stop there as ‘Lookin’ Down the Barrel’ follows and the chugging guitars drive the song forward like a juggernaut with no brakes as frontman Mikey Tucker’s raw vocals deliver a hook in the chorus that has ‘audience participation’ written all over it. However, when ‘Electric Sunshine’ hits the band drop the speed down a bit and come forth with a monstrously heavy mid-paced psychedelic workout that’ll set a few fires burning during those hazy summer evenings sat outside with a barbeque and a few beers. But never staying in one place too long is what this band excel at and the ’80s metal-flavoured ‘Fuel Injected’ takes you right back to the Sunset Strip, but with herbal cigarettes being the major influence if those thick guitar tones are anything to go by. To be honest, every song on here has a vibe and identity of its own, whether it’s the speed metal groove of ‘Black Dog’ or the ’70s arena rock of ‘Sick (of Being Sick)’, and having an album full of standouts is a very rare thing indeed these days.
Overall, “Vol. IV: Hammered Again” is pretty damn near faultless. Every song kicks hard and leaves you breathless, either through sheer adrenaline-fuelled riffing like on the punky ‘Reign Supreme’ or just skull-shattering heaviness like on ‘Hammered Again’ or the agressive ‘Promised Land’. The closing ‘High as a Kite’ taps into that ’70s Black Sabbath well of trippy songwriting that’ll never stop being inspirational and offers the only real respite on the album, ending on an electric blues workout that’ll hopefully continue on album number five. Until then, “Vol. IV: Hammered Again” is a fantastic album of fuzzed-out rock n’ roll bangers that, quite frankly, you’d be bloody stupid to deprive yourself of. And it has another naked hippy chick on the cover.