Primal power pounding forth from broken bones and ancient stones, Mammoth Toe is more than music, it is a monstrous force of myth. The legend began for us when their path collided with ours at a gig in the basement of Obsidian, in Bournemouth. The monumental noise that bellowed out from the very bowels of the earth and into that hallowed hall lives on in the still vibrating glassware of the bar above.
We will start with a quick review of that set:
“From the ferocious first note, Mammoth Toe tear into their set tooth, nail, and claw. It bubbles from the bass like primordial ooze, thick, dark, deep, and filled with chewy gooey juices. Pounds out on the drums with the still resounding echo of the first footfall on land. It sparkles from the guitar strings with the cosmic chaos of a constellation, each individual note shines, but sings somehow brighter in this galaxial groove.”
‘Turbo‘ perfectly demonstrates how the band can translate that bone quaking sound into the studio. It is a track that encapsulates both the depth and delicacy of the music. It is just as impressively intricate blowing out your speakers with devastating decibels, as it is haunting your headphones in quieter moments.
It begins with the rocket fuel splutter of an engine engulfed in fire and flame as it begins to take flight. It chuggs and judders with spasmodic frenzy before erupting into the hellish fury of the three instruments colliding and coalescing at maximum velocity. This mechanical musical monster roars, open maw looking to swallow the skies above.
As ‘Turbo‘ pierces through the heavens and out into the void you hear the fight against gravity fall away. The soundscape settles into something far more cosmic. It isn’t empty, it feels somehow more dense than before, as if the weight of weightlessness is pushing in on the very fibre of your being. There is something far more terrifying in this respite of reflection than that of the cacophony that came before.
There is a bone tickling beauty that skitters out from this expansive sound. It swerves and swoops from star to star finding safety enough to settle into surprising stunned stillness awe struck by the scope of it surroundings. At around the 3:10 mark the track is cleaved down the middle and enters a true interlude that balances this newly found majestic quiet with the pulse raising punch of a callback to the war that came before.
As each riff and refrain is reintroduced, even on the first listen it feels familiar, testament to the collosal impact of the instrumentation. At the 4 minute mark we are cast adrift with the dream of escape, before the jaws of the machine latch back onto dizzy spinning limbs and sink their teeth in. ‘Turbo‘ enters its finale with the same feral fury that started it all. It finishes with a howl, rather than a whimper.
The music is woven layer by layer until it hums with a divine resonance that shakes the very atoms around it. This is not just destructive din, this isn’t just volume for the sake of volume, it is a supernova of sound that implodes and then explodes with the same cataclysmic force of the birth and death of a star.
There is a story as old as time, told without words, plucked with masterful skill from string and skin by these barmy bardic bastards. This is a sound that cannot be ignored, and will never be forgotten. Pay heed to the legend of Mammoth Toe, or be trampled by its resurgance.