Lethbridge, Alberta-based Mammoth Cave Recordings is showing itself to be another record label with a particular sound. In this case, the label seems to specialize in rock music with no frills. This is pure, ear-pleasing, throwback rock that will probably cause you to lose some hearing at a concert without earplugs.
One of their latest releases is for Ketamines, who are almost a textbook definition of the Mammoth Cave ethos. These guys aren’t here to bore you with bullshit- these guys play some solid, psychedelic and fuzzy rock, with all song lengths somewhere between two and three minutes.
The opening track to Spaced Out is a very enticing one, filled with such infectious energy that I wanted to dance in my computer chair. Quick, fuzzy guitar riffs, a groove that seems like it was lifted out of the 70s and lots of vocal shouts make “Teenage Rebellion Time” an essential listen (so essential that I’ll even post the song below).
The following song “1 Yr” shows that there are varied voices contributing, with the main vocalist here having a lower voice. This song can be compared to Young Rival in terms of sound.
The band gets really trippy in songs like “Ketamine Babies,” a song which shimmers with psychedelia. “Skin Trade” amps it up even further, loading the vocals with reverb and ending with Hendrix-style industrial sound effects.
“Kill Me Now” is another standout, and I really liked how the vocals sync with the guitar notes. Throw in some classic punk vocals and some background “aah’s” and you’ve got a killer song (pun not intended).
The next song is titled “Evil Intentions” but actually turns out to be kind of pleasant. It turns out that the next song, “Spaced Out,” is the one that sound pretty darn sinister. The vocals and guitar riffs are much heavier. As well, there are some truly exciting instrumental buildups.
The band then shows off its prowess with “No Grand Design” which is a fitting title- it’s a purely instrumental song that isn’t trying to be high-minded. It’s just pure fun. Finally, there’s “The Runaround,” a pleasant ending to this kickass album.
Ketamines have really gone places with this debut album, and I can only expect to hear more awesomeness later on. Stream the album via Bandcamp or get yourself a physical copy in the Mammoth Cave store.
Top Tracks: “Teenage Rebellion Time”; “Kill Me Now”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*