Early Mammal are a psychedelic blues four-piece from South London. Their influences range from classic acts such as Captain Beefheart and Aphrodite’s Child to more recent weirdness like White Hills. Take A Lover is the band’s third album and was recorded live. It sees the band reinvigorated and indulging in extended jams.
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LP on Riot Season.
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First the riffs stay in place and stagnate ‘til your brain becomes proverbial mush, then they start unwinding, fraught with the fear that nobody is physically turning into mush. Such are the psych rock rules (secret rule number two: druuuuuuuuums, and then I can’t be bothered to write down any more rules), deftly passed down by habitual psychedelic rock musician people Early Mammal. Bringing some of the old-school chunkiness to the masses, ‘Take A Lover’ distantly admires Black Sabbath and slooooooooooowly follows in Hey Colossus’ footsteps.
The dooming tendencies on Early Mammal are very in keeping with the Riot Season brand, with drums so slow and thrashing you can imagine the hair that had to be parted back into place post-performance (I can so totally relate). “Morning” echoes the quiet, melancholy builds of the best Om records, with metallic riffs subdued and chords muted towards a devastating ascension. And there’s some low-end, of course, though it’s used almost emotively, as on the dirgey “Glad Is Night” (for real though, is that a pun? Lord).
Pace and build are Early Mammals’ finest tools, and here they construct well-balanced jams without necessarily stagnating on one singular idea: their climax can be clean and simple or reach for the noisier, more earth-scorched end of the spectrum, as on the lethargic “Sak Bacle”. Very lovely, very gruesome.
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