Venerate Industries – 4th November 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Now this is a fine justification of why I don’t do end of year lists. This may or may not have made mi ne, because I simply haven’t had time to process or digest it, but it’s been out a month and a half and I’ve only just got my lugs around it, with only a week or so left of 2022 – and it’s one of those albums that slaps you around the skull and has that instant impact by virtue of its sheer force.

Their bio tells us that Athens-based ‘Mammock’s compositions stray from the typical rock forms, incorporating various elements from punk to jazz, post-hardcore and the nineties’ US noise rock scene. The quartet possesses the self-awareness and technical capabilities to carve their own sound and explore their character into finely tuned songs, which grab the listener from beginning to end.’

What it means is that they make a serious fucking racket and sound a lot like The Jesus Lizard, from the rib-rattling bass to the off-kilter, jarring guitars, and the crazed vocals. Some of the songs sound like they have some synths swirling around in the mix, but one suspects it’s just more guitar, run through a monster bank of effects. Overall, though, they seem to be more reliant on technique than trickery.

They formed in early 2018 by Giannis (guitar) and Klearhos (bass) with the addition of Vangelis (drums), they started out as an instrumental trio, before the addition of Andreas (vocals), and if it seems like a contradiction to remark that they feel like a coherent unit when cranking out so much jolting, angular discord, but that’s one of the key tricks or deceptions of music like this: it isn’t mere racket, and in fact requires real technical precision: those stuttering stops and starts, judders, jolts, changes of key and tempo require a great deal of skill, intuition, and of course, rehearsal.

They take many cues from Shelllac, too: the drums are way up in the mix – to the extent that they’re front and centre, something Shellac make a point of literally on stage, and replicate the sound on record, with the guitar providing more texture than tune, and the vocals half-buried beneath the cacophonic blur.

The last minute or so of ‘Dancing Song’ blasts away at a single chord that calls to mind Shellac’s ‘My Black Ass’ and ‘The Admiral’. The lumbering monster that is ‘Bats’ is a bit more metal, in the sludgy, stoner doom Melvins sense.

Stretching out to almost seven minutes, ‘Jasmine Skies’ blasts its way to the album’s mid-point, a wild, grunged-up metal beast with an extended atmospheric spoken-word mid-section which gives the lumbering black metal assault that emerges in the finale even greater impact.

If the semi-ambient ‘Interludio’ offers some brief respite, the ‘Boiling Frog’ brings choppy, driving grunge riffage and a real sense of agitation and anguish, and the album’s trajectory overall paves the way for an immense finish in the form of the seven-minute ‘Away from Them’ that roars away as it twists and turns at a hundred miles an hour.

Yes, Rust packs in a lot, and it packs it in tight and it packs it in hard.

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Comments
  1. […] recently experienced a mammoth rush of excitement on discovering Mammock, I’m buzzing all over again having been introduced to another bunch of noisy fucks, namely […]

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