Review Summary: Joyful oppression
Whether you enjoy them or not, there is no denying that Pelican is one of metal's least consistent bands. Whether it be the oppressive sludge of Australasia
, the bleak post-rock/metal of The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw
, or the bombastic riffage of City of Echoes
, Pelican seems to constantly shift styles and influences. However, all of their music has a tendency to invoke a blanket of bleak oppression upon the listener.
Their little-known 2006 EP Pink Mammoth
does little to alter their music’s density and its suffocating feel, but what it does change is the band’s tendency towards bleakness or darkness. Here, Pelican has taken Mammoth
(from their debut EP), one of their darkest and most suffocating tracks, and crafted it into a track that retains the original’s density but throws away all notions of darkness and replaces them with light and happiness. Pink Mammoth
is instantly recognizable as a remake of the original, but its conversion into major key means that instead of crushing the listener’s ears with darkness it crushes his mind with light and joy, and its guitar tone and production brings to mind the post-rock influenced The Fire In Our Throats…
more than it does the heavier Australasia
. It’s the yin to the original’s yang. It’s dense with happiness instead of darkness, and it crushes with hope rather than with hopelessness.
The EP’s B-side, End of Seasons (Prefuse 73 remix)
, is an 8-minute ambient piece that is a mashup and remix of Aurora Borealis
, both from The Fire In Our Throats…
. It’s not as memorable a track as the EP’s title track but it does what it’s intended to do well and more than deserves a listen. In the end, this EP isn’t an essential piece of Pelican’s discography, and is more for diehard fans and completionists than it is for casual listeners. However, while it’s not essential, it remains a fine piece of music, and the EP, especially the title track, is a must-have for anyone seeking a change of pace from Pelican’s usual bleakness.