The Early Years

Mammoth Volume

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The Early Years Review

by Jason Anderson

More ambitious than early Fu Manchu, Mammoth Volume put a finer point on Sabbath groove mongering, but their lowdown, often minimal approach to stoner riffing will tickle the ears of Daredevil (check out "Candlelight Dinner") fans for sure. Of course, it's Black Sabbath ("Recycled C*unt," "Helly's Creek") being memorialized on many of these demos and rarities, but visions of artists as diverse as Motörhead ("Diablo"), Yes ("Expander"), Wilco, and T. Rex ("Fourfinger and Fishpie") combine to make for an interesting trip. Through it all, super-thick guitar and bass riffs tie the music together, stretching the border of rock's lowest register. Old-school synths, spooky acoustic breaks, backwards tracks, and other '70s artifacts also litter The Early Years, adding clarity and sophistication to the collection. A thinking man's stoner affair, this 2002 Music Cartel release reveals Mammoth Volume's amazing capacity to revitalize retro concepts, and capture something completely their own.

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