Artist: Mammoth WVH
Album: Mammoth WVH
Release Date: June 11th 2021
Reviewer: Andrew Treadwell
Sometimes a name can be a blessing and a curse. Wolfgang Van Halen cannot help his DNA, but that blessing and curse he wears on his sleeve with pride. He isn’t one to back down when facing whatever fire is coming at him, or has come at him and he has walked through to only come out the other side. The debut album from Mammoth WVH, is 14 songs of every fire he has faced since he started putting it together some years ago. The songs are not only delivered with power, but also huge amounts of melodies which will have everyone singing along. They are well crafted, with moments of finesse combined with wrecking ball swinging recklessness, which at the end of the day makes perfect sense
The only thing remotely close to his fathers playing is the tapping on the opening track “Mr. Ed”. But that’s where it ends. The only thing remotely Van Halen-esque is the tip of the hat to “So This Is Love” at the end of “Don’t Back Down”. Wolfgang is a one man band, literally. He played everything on this album. He legitimately stands on his own.
You have songs like “Don’t Back Down” which is ready made for the arenas, and will no doubt have fists up in the air. “Horribly Right” is another upbeat rocker just waiting for a stage to be played on. “Feel” sees Wolfgang let fly on pretty much every instrument, you have some great little bass licks, a cool drum break, crunching guitars and soaring vocals. All in the one track.
Switch it across to tracks like “Resolve”, and “Circles” that while a little more laid back, showcases Wolfgang’s vocal ability, with some amazing harmonies and soaring guitar work to boot. “Stone” is one of many stand out tracks for me. It’s dark and moody, the vocals especially bring out the emotion in the song. Same goes for “You’re To Blame”. I’m sure my favourite will change the more spins I give this album, which will no doubt be a lot.
“Think It Over” is that summertime car song, which while having a brilliant 80’s vibe, is still modern, and has no dated sound. The Production team of Michael “Elvis” Baskette, Jef Moll and Joshua Saldate bring the sonics of the songs on this album to life as they have done for the likes of Alter Bridge and Slash ft Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators beforehand. Of course I cannot ignore the first single “Distance”, which I’m glad was included as a bonus track, as it completes the journey for the listener. The song was a heartfelt gift for his father and the accompanying video is a beautiful tribute.
No matter what he wrote Wolfgang Van Halen was going to be compared. No matter what he played, Wolfgang Van Halen was going to be criticised. No matter what he did, unfortunately for some it’s not going to be enough. For those of us with an open mind, there will be more than one “Something” on this album that we gravitate to. I know that’s how it was for me. I feel sorry for those who can’t accept that a man can stand on his own two feet and build his own legacy. So in closing, what do I think of this album? I think that the haters should shut the fuck up and crank this album and find those “Somethings” that those who are loving it have already found, and hey Wolfie, don’t worry about your people talking about your Dads legacy, its in great hands with you, same as your legacy that you are building right now, as your own man and artist.
Don’t Back Down
You’ll Be The One
The Big Picture
Think It Over
You’re To Blame
Distance (Bonus Track)