A Basket of Mammoths - Unkept and Matted
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Their first full-length offering, Unkept and Matted, is a bizarre psych adventure; experimental and volatile. Since their 2014 release, I Am The Wolf, the band have shifted towards a kind of cerebral psychedelic rock that incorporates elements of pop, funk, blues, and other insanity into the baseline psych/stoner mix. The band cite some of their influences as Jimi Hendrix, Kyuss and… Tame Impala. It’s a weird alchemy of musical styles, and one that the band manages to blend to fantastic effect. There’s something for everyone in Unkept and Matted. The first track, “Sinner’s Abyss”, abruptly shifts between airy, pop psych vocals and fuzzy stoner rock, a la Truckfighters. Another track, “Chilli”, features head-bending riffs and a hazy garage psych vibe, evoking the 90s strangeness of bands like the Butthole Surfers, Dead Meadow, and Primus. Unkept and Matted is a bizarro-world of musical cuckoldery; a psychedelic blender that you just can’t help but put your face into. It is this variety of influences and inspirations that makes Unkept and Matted such a joy to listen to. The album is a huge melting pot of styles, and each person listening will tease out their own stylistic comparisons. For me, ABOM capture the same suspense and unpredictability as bands like All Them Witches, The Cosmic Dead and Wight. Others might find strong comparisons between ABOM and some of the more unusual underground psych bands of the 60s and 70s. There’s too much to say about Unkept and Matted. “Like a Bird”, the longest track on the album, has a Kyuss desert rock sound that will appeal to stoner rock enthusiasts. “Wait, I’ll Find Somehow” starts off with funky bass, and features the same kind of vocal harmonising used to great effect by bands such as Elephant Tree. A belter for me is, “Scattered”, is an absolute psychedelic rock track that reminds me of ABOM’s earlier track “The Cosmic Nod”.