Say Psych: Album Review: Mamuthones – Fear On The Corner

Mamuthones emerged from the Italian occult psychedelic movement and now in the wake of the release of their album Fear on the Corner on Rocket Recordings the band find themselves undergoing a metamorphosis from the mystical and ceremonial realms toward a direct connection with the everyday, the personal and the political. This vibrant reinvention also sees Mamuthones transcending their roots from Italian prog and soundtrack work after indulging in a healthy diet of krautrock and disco which has succeeded in shifting their modus operandi.

Alession Gastaldello, a founder member of Mamuthones states that “the songs deal with fear. Fear of the present, of human situations, fear of the new political situation, fear of political decisions being taken from other people’s fear, but also fear of relationship breakdown, fear of being alone or fear of being together with the wrong people, fear of not finding “a place in the world”, personal fear and obsession, fear of fear itself”. The album’s title is itself an amalgamation of the kinetic Fear Of Music by Talking Heads and the heat-haze repetition of Miles Davis’ On The Corner.

They open with ‘Cars’, an energetic track with an infectious percussion and bass interplay. Atonal effected vocals swoon playfully over the top with this track manifesting an anything-goes sphere of influence and the jam-based exploration of sound to create a kaleidoscopic collision of groove meets incendiary hooks.  ‘Show Me’ is a rawer entity from the offset with industrial noise meeting jangly percussion, an intriguing juxtaposition they pull off with ease. Title track ‘Fear on the Corner’ draws on a deep funk rhythm, adds pacey spoken style lyrics and the kinetic energy of a kraut-tinged vortex.

‘The Wrong Side’ again utilises varying influences and clashes them together, yet somehow it works and a similar strategy has been used in the past by the likes of Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem. ‘Alone’ is the one, that if anyone, will fill a dance floor with its funk beat and given they are playing at Rocket Recordings’ 20th Birthday bash in London in a few weeks, one can only hope this will be played. ‘Simone Choule’ is an entirely different entity with a much darker countenance and an almost menacing synth riff. Concluding ‘Here We Are’ utilises the band’s ritualistic beginnings with its rich tapestry of drone, Latin percussion, mantric recitations and vocal exorcisms builds to a demonic conclusion. Allessio clarifies “It is a big dance party for very sad events. We are a kind of Titanic orchestra playing and dancing while the ship goes down. The party must go on”.

Mamuthones have pushed the limits with Fear on the Corner, unashamedly experimenting with sound and unabashedly clashing opposing genres in order to create something spirited, unique and entirely enjoyable.


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