Mammal
The Majority


4.0
excellent

Review

by Billy USER (32 Reviews)
January 31st, 2009 | 124 replies | 11,683 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While some may be dissapointed that Mammal have not been able to fully transfer their amazing live energy to studio, The Majority is still one of the better hard rock albums of 2008.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Known for their exhilarating live shows, politically motivated lyrics and egotistic lead vocalist Ezekiel Ox, Mammal are one of those bands that everyone should experience, for better or for worse. As a band that has built what is almost a cult fan base through word of mouth alone, Mammal have gone from playing supports in small pubs around Australia to high profile festival slots, sold out headlining shows and major supports for international bands such as Kiss in less than two years. The Majority, Mammal’s debut studio album comes after three previous releases and while some may be disappointed that the band hasn’t quite managed to grasp the amazing amounts of energy found on their live album (Vol 1: The Aural Underground), it still packs a hell of a punch.

Combining with producer Eric Sarafin (Ben Harper, The Pharcyde) in an attempt to keep their raw, animalistic sound for record, Mammal with their mix of funk, rock and prog have come out the other side with a set of songs that don’t rely on studio tricks, enabling their instruments and voices to do the talking.

Opening up proceedings with hard rock number “The Aural Underground”, combining Pete Williamson’s trademark funk influenced riffs and Zeke’s lyrics “we aint no hit machine, we’re just hear to please your soul” it reads like the perfect mission statement for the band and a great way to open a debut album. In the first minute or so of first single “Smash the Piñata”, it is immediately obvious how far Mammal have come since their self titled EP, starting out with Zeke rapping over just Zane Rosanoski’s drums and Nick Adams’ bass before the full band break loose, ending with a huge climax with Zeke snarling “Step back, cos you’ve got what we want right now, divvy up the goodies as you share them around..... come down, smash the piñata as you come down” over what is the heaviest part on the whole record.

Zeke’s politically motivated lyrics are prevalent throughout The Majority; in fact, it is the better cuts that contain the more confronting and provocative lyrics. See the pulsing title track where Zeke tackles racism and discrimination, spitting “They call you towel head, slope and chink, you’re the minority”, and while they might seem a little pretentious for some, underneath lies a message, that in some way, we are all a minority and therefore discrimination is pointless. Slow burner “Religion” takes on the very subject and its miseries, even paying homage to Cog, the band that helped Mammal find their feet when they started out with Zeke singing “from the Rubicon in the back of Gower”. While “Clear Enough?”, which is hands down the best song on the album sees Mammal displaying their Rage Against the Machine influence to a tee. Featuring Zeke at his most pissed off, taking a stab at society and people in general’s need to conform, spitting “Have I painted a portrait or picture that’s clear enough?” in a fast paced rap interchanging with Williamson’s proggy guitar soloing, it makes it very hard for one not to start jumping around like a madman.

The Majority also shows that Mammal have learnt when to take the foot off the accelerator and do a bit of experimenting with their influences, see the funk and Chili Peppers inspired “Mr Devil” or the unbelievably catchy funk anthem “Burn Out”, which is probably the simplest track on the album but also one of the strongest, containing a chorus that is sure to get stuck in your head for days. While instrumental track “Zero Infinity” gives off a tribal feel incorporating, amongst other weird and wonderful things, a didgeridoo.

Final track “Living in Sin” sees Mammal and in particular Zeke touch on one of the more delicate subjects in Australia today, the discrimination of Indigenous Australians with Zeke singing ”people walking on the icons proudly.... black, red and yellow, roots have been seeded, with nothing left to defend”. It is a song that is guaranteed to get you thinking while showing that Zeke doesn’t have to spit his lyrics in anger to get such a strong message across.

While not completely being able to transfer the bucket loads of energy that Mammal’s live show entails to the studio, the Zeke and Co. have still managed to create one of the better hard rock albums of 2008 and once that transition happens successfully there is no telling where Mammal will end up. However, Mammal is an entity that will go on regardless of their studio ventures because, going by their current trend, the only way is up.



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user ratings (64)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Vooligan
January 31st 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hope it didn't come out too fanboyish.

Fugue
January 31st 2009



7352 Comments


Tis a pretty good review dude and although there is a little 'fanboyism' there isn't half as much as I thought there would be. Good job.This Message Edited On 01.31.09

Spamue1G
January 31st 2009



1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed on the rating. I would have expected a higher rating from someone with the username Mammalian, and the review's not fanboyish at all - you covered the key points well, although I'd like to read someone a little more in-depth at times.
This album just makes me wanna get up and smash stuff... hopefully that's what they intended. I can imagine that they're much better live though.

AtavanHalen
January 31st 2009



17927 Comments


I googled a few phrases and this wasn't plagiarised.
I hope.

Fugue
January 31st 2009



7352 Comments


Why would you think it was plagarised Dave?

AtavanHalen
January 31st 2009



17927 Comments


You haven't been around here long enough.
There was once a reviewer called billy33, and he "wrote" a lot of reviews, if you catch my drift...

Fugue
January 31st 2009



7352 Comments


Oh fair enough, I'm sure Billy here wouldn't do such a thing.

Douchebag
January 31st 2009



3624 Comments


Is this the band you showed me once? they reminded me of rage against the machine but nowhere near as angry.

Vooligan
January 31st 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks kiddies.
Spamuel: I was gunna give it a 4.5 but i dont think i would have been able to justify it all that well, and yes, they're freaking amazing live. Ta anyways.
Mutated: Thanks heaps man.
Croc: yeah this is the band, yep some of the songs are fairly mellow compared to rage, but then theres ones like Clear Enough and Think which are nuts.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2009



20855 Comments


Really good, easy to read & informative review Billy. Pos-worthy in fact... Well done.

Vooligan
January 31st 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yay! lol cheers davey.

Jim
February 1st 2009



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

review was good
album was good - but not great
the slower songs just don't do it for me. if they could do a whole album of songs like the majority or clear enough they'd be unstoppable i reckon.

Vooligan
February 1st 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah fair enough, i really liked the slower songs. But the quicker paced ones are definitly more universaly appealing.

badtaste
March 28th 2009



824 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

So... this did nothing for me. =(

This Message Edited On 03.28.09

Vooligan
March 28th 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really? i thought you would have liked this.......bugger.

badtaste
March 28th 2009



824 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well yeah, judging by the local support for the band, I thought I might have liked them as well, haha.

Vooligan
May 6th 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bit of Mammal news:
They're touring the UK towards the end of the year, some radio station over there has picked up 'Smash the Pinata' and is absolutly thrashing it apparently.
Second live album is gunna be out pretty soon i think. Last word was that they had just sent tracks off for pressing, includes 'Religion' accompanied by a violin.
New track called Tempo and the Groove is sounding fucking sweet.

Meatplow
May 6th 2009



5524 Comments


i might try this out, EP you reviewed a while back was decent

Jim
May 6th 2009



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i recommend the live album.

it's better than this

Douglas
May 6th 2009



9057 Comments


I may add this to my evergrowing list of music to check out.



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