MAMMOTH WVH – Mammoth II (2023) *HQ*

MAMMOTH WVH - Mammoth II (2023) - full

With his solo band MAMMOTH WVH, Wolfgang Van Halen consistently challenges himself as a songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. After a monumental breakthrough-with a Grammy Award nomination for his first-ever single, #1 debuts on multiple charts, television performances, and sold out shows over a two-year span – it would’ve been easy to settle.
Instead, he consciously tested himself to further develop his sound from every angle on his second full-length offering, ‘Mammoth II‘. Coming out swinging, the hooks hit harder, the riffs roar louder, and the lyrics cut deeper as he delivers an urgent, undeniable, and unforgettable 10-song body of work.
Wolfgang redefines the notion of ‘big’ on Mammoth WVH’s massive-sounding follow-up album. He played all the instruments on Mammoth WVH’s 2021 debut, and repeats the trick again here, with the depth of his musical mastery writ no less large. His dad, the legendary Eddie Van Halen, pretty much revolutionised what people thought could be done with a guitar – a type of perma-grinning, MTV-era Hendrix – and while it’d be unfair to compare Wolfie to his old man (different times, different circumstances), what’s not in doubt is that the Van Halens basically bagged all the talent genes.

These are insanely tight, bodybuilder-sculpted rock songs, and while the mainman dresses each in his six-string wizardry it’s all commendably contained. ‘Another Celebration At The End Of The World’ and ‘Optimist’ are full of energy and applied imagination, but at no point do they or any of these 10 tracks become self-indulgent.
It’s the production, led by Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette at Van Halen’s famous 5150 studios, that makes the music sound bigger than a stampeding herd of elephants. The next thing is always slightly bigger than the last very big thing.

‘Miles Above Me’ and ‘Erase Me’ are among the superior songs, and while the immense production cannot help but impress, it also stifles those hooks from hitting any emotional buttons – humanity is surrendered in favour of asteroid-crater impact. There’s no shortage of creativity – most of final track ‘Better Than You’ sounds like Sgt Pepper-era Beatles transfused with modern heavy rock blood and played through AC/DC’s wall of amps.

Arguably, Mammoth WVH’s music is so big that its best ideas get lost in the echo of its heavy footsteps, but ”Mammoth II” remains, unarguably, a worthy follow-up to that equally muscular debut.
Highly Recommended


01 – Right?
02 – Like a Pastime
03 – Another Celebration at the End of the World
04 – Miles Above Me
05 – Take a Bow
06 – Optimist
07 – I’m Alright
08 – Erase Me
09 – Waiting
10 – Better Than You

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1 Response

  1. jay says:

    Thnx for this a bunch!

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