Mammal - The Majority
The long awaited debut (Not counting their Aural Underground Vol 1 Live cd) album from Melbournes Funk n' Roll outfit Mammal has arrived! Titled The Majority, it is 11 brand new tracks of franticly-paced, raw and energetic funkiness.
Judging by the numerous glowing reviews, Mammal are known for their unrivaled live performances, politically motivated lyrics and egotistic, charismatic lead vocalist Ezekiel Ox (A frontman couldn't ask for a better name), Mammal are one of those bands that everyone should experience, whether you like them or not. Here is a band that has built a cult fan base through word of mouth alone from their live shows, they have gone from playing supports in small pubs around Australia to high profile festival slots, sold out headlining shows (Currently in the UK) and major supports for international bands such as Kiss in less than two years. Every new bands dream! Mammal have teamed up with producer Eric Sarafin (Ben Harper, The Pharcyde) in an attempt to keep their raw, animalistic sound for record, with their mix of funk, rock and prog have come out the other side with a collection of songs that do not rely on studio tomfoolery, enabling their instruments and voices to do the talking.
‘The Aural Underground' is first up on The Majority album and is typical Mammal funk rock which sums up their story so far; an introduction to who and what their intentions are; "We aint no hit machine, we're just here to please your soul". The 2nd track, ‘Smash The Piñata' is where Mammal get really serious though. Within the first minute it is easy to see how far they have come and how they have refined their style to perfection. Zeke starts with his rapping over Rosanoski's drums and Nick Adams' bass before the entire group break loose with focussed agression, ending with a huge climax. ‘Bending Rules' provides more of the same keeping the quality at a high level while keeping it relatively simple, without losing its power. The album's title track, The Majority, gives us a clever insight into the pointlessness of bigotry with its statement that we are all a minority in some way, shape or form and therefore prejudice against others seems rather pointless.
For the majority of the album (pardon the pun) it is frenetic but with songs like ‘Mr Devil' and ‘Religion' midway through, it brings the pace of the album down a notch. In saying this I was surprised to not see two particular songs repeated on this album from Nagasaki In Flames/Slaves single. These boys really have amassed themselves a nice little collection of work in a short period of time. ‘Clear Enough?' has got to be the best track on the album showing their Rage Against The Machine influence. Ezekiel seems to have reached his most pissed off point with this song, spitting his lyrics with so much agressive power, taking a stab at society and people and their need to conform "Have I painted a portrait or picture that's clear enough?" It's impossible not to move around to this song. ‘Burn Out' gives us a catchy funk anthem with a chorus sure to be stuck in your head for days. While the instrumental ‘Zero Inifinity' brings a tribal feel to it involving the weird and wonderful instrument, Australias best, the didgeridoo (How many cool songs have you heard with a didgeridoo in?) Their final track ‘Living In Sin' Zeke tackles a more delicate subject closer to home, the discrimination of indigenous Australians, singing "people walking on the icons proudly.... black, red and yellow, roots have been seeded, with nothing left to defend".
Mammal's twist of heavy punk, metal, funk and prog fronted by Ezekiel Ox's powerful melodic vocals makes for some interesting moments. The progressive structure of some of the songs allow for swings back and forth between heavier stoner rock grooves and balls-out punk attacks, particularly on first single Smash The Pinata and title track The Majority.