A listen to this album’s lead off single “Complaints from the Future, Concerning the Present” and I’m already immersed in several different musical styles and eras. I’m finding myself in some strange area between Funkadelic and Joy Division – the drums and bass are utterly dancey, the vocals are subtly post-punk in delivery, and the inventive synthesizer and guitar embellishments are straight psychedelic rock and roll. The amount of ground that is covered by the end of this thing is pretty exciting and pretty bewildering.
Yes, this Wooly Mammoths record is serious stuff. Politically charged language and samples and songs that are really quite beautifully and complexly structured – these things show us the Mammoths in their most eloquent, messy and radical way. They are in search of their ideal, out to stick it to the man.
Having said that, there is definitely a wackiness to this music that is fully aware of how heavy, and even contradictory this all is. And so they set out to balance it. You’ll find many odd, nonsensical and satirical lyrics here. The Gung Ho! charge of “Daggers” and its errant, shrieking vocal style are moments, to me, of looseness. Thin, chorused funk guitars in “Bluepriiints” carry some amount of humor in this context. And the thumpin nearly RHCP bass groove in “Cigarettes are Bullies” is both as silly as Bootsy Collins get up and as tight as anything he could have added. The album title is truly the most appropriate slogan for these contradictions – resist consumerism, but also buy this album.