Whoa, heavy!! This is a whole-body vibrating, brain-melting, serious amplifier worship ceremony! The first time I saw these guys, last year sometime at the Hemlock here in San Francisco, I was blown away… I’d been told the were a heavy ’stoner rock’ outfit from Santa Cruz and worth checking out, but I didn’t realize they were gonna be quite so AMAZING. Hairy backwoods hippy dudes, the drummer wearing what looked to be a home-made Whysp t-shirt, guitars turning the air to cottage cheese a la Blue Cheer while creating a trance-zone worthy of Finland’s Circle!! So good that I immediately bought the live cd-r they were selling.
So yeah, heavy stoner rock this is, but waaay psychedelic and Hawkwindy, kinda like what maybe you thought Circle side-project Pharaoh Overlord was gonna (and sometimes does) sound like. Loud, massive and mesmerizing, swirling sludge psych! Their songs, often of epic length, are ever chugging skyward, dripping molten goo, full of feedback and fx. Their energetic riffage and warm drones are adorned by drifting vox (not unlike Dead Meadow, with whom they share certain proclivities) and fantastic, metallic, progtastic imagery. Take note of titles like “Dragon Of The Deep” (parts one and two!) and the Roger Dean-esque cover art by Arik “Moonhawk” Roper.
Further musical comparisions aren’t hard to come up with — Mammatus belong in the company of such bastions of cosmic heaviness as Sleep, Boris, YOB, UFOmammut, Earthless, old Monster Magnet, Acid Mothers Temple (at AMT’s heaviest, like on Starless & Bible Black Sabbath), Tarantula Hawk, and even Amon Duul (especially on the druggy, krautrocky jam “The Outer Rim”). And of course they’re now labelmates with OM, which also makes perfect sense. If you love many, or even just any, of those bands and the sounds they make, this comes highly recommended.