Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bust Out and Make a Mistake I Could Regret for the Rest of My Life

Mammal – Vol 1: The Aural Underground

One of the things I've been quite surprised to learn about Aussie music since moving here is that, at least in Sydney, they love their funk metal. I've seen any number of bands that channel the quirky grooviness of Mr. Bungle or Faith No More, many of them quite good. Mammal are one of the more popular bands of this type, although a more apt comparison of their relatively mainstream style would be to Rage Against the Machine.

You may recall that I've seen these guys live a couple of times, and thought they were fucking great. (They're coming back for a few more shows this year too!) Mammal appear to be fully cognisant of the awesomeness of their live performances, and have therefore made the unusual decision to make their first album a live recording. It's a choice that you certainly can't argue the effectiveness of, as they're a tight act and there's not a bung note or a song not pumping with energy to be found.

As for the music itself, the comparison to Rage is a good one, as they have the same kind of funky but heavy rhythm section backing more aggressive guitar and vocals (even if the singer sounds, ironically, more like Chris Cornell than Zach de la Rocha). The difference between the two bands is in their emotional approach. Rage are full of, well, rage and listening to one of their albums leaves one well and pissed off. Mammal may share some of Rage's political sensibilities but their music is upbeat and rather than dwelling on the bad in the world they express hope and for all the aggression in their music there are also a hell of a lot of exhortations to just dance.

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