Mammal Live Review - Max Watt's - Fri 27th Oct

Original article by Rod Whitfield - The 

Terracotta Pigeons are an interesting band, a three-piece where the drummer is the main focus, singing lead and acting as a frontman while the guitarist and bass player stand back, happy to play accompaniment and allow him to do his thing.

The sound is big, raw and open, raucously rock and with some very stompy boogie to it. Their 30-minute set is shitloads of fun and it sets up this very special night and warms the steadily growing Max Watt's crowd beautifully.

Melbourne three-piece Bushido made quite the name for themselves back in the late 2000s, when Mammal were at their peak, and the reception they receive when they bob up every now and then for a show in current times confirms that many people still remember this.

It’s great when bands like this get back together, even for random shows here and there, because you know it’s not for the money. It’s for the pure enjoyment of it, enjoyment that both band and their audience experience. And so it is again tonight.

Bushido’s set this night proves they’ve still got it, their sound is still a relevant, powerhouse take on Tool, Cog and Alice In Chains inspired progressive rock, they still slam down their alien grooves with power, precision and passion and they still look like they’re having a ball on stage. Their lead vocal trade-off works a treat and the songs are still strong, losing none of their resonance. They provide an ideal first support for what is to follow this night.

When Mammal called it a day back in 2009, frenetic frontman Ezekiel Ox stated that he would never play in Mammal again. In a classic self-pisstake he appears, three songs into their comeback set, in a ‘I will never play in Mammal again’ tee-shirt, which draws relieved laughter from the heaving Max Watt's hordes. No, it is not a dream, Mammal are back, and judging by their set this night, it’s like they’ve never gone away. They slot back into their nuclear-strength groove like a hand into a perfectly tailored glove.

The band members look a little older, there is a little more grey hair onstage, on head and face, but the fire that ignites this band is burning as strong as ever. It’s just a case of the pilot-light having gone out, and it needed to be re-lit. And it has, and we the fans are the ecstatic beneficiaries of its warmth.

It is so good to have them back. They were a band that could have ignited a revolution, not just in rock'n'roll, but in broader society. And not just in this country, but across the world. Now that they are back as a going concern (Ox hinted very strongly at more shows, more touring and new music on the way) after being away for so long, it is questionable as to whether they can re-attain that level of freight-train momentum that they had back in the day, but they have made a blistering start.

All the classics are here this night, Smash The Pinata, The Majority, Clear Enough?, the mid-set slow burning showstopper Religion, New Breed Judas, the manic, crowd-pleasing closer Hell Yeah and many more. The sheer propulsion that this band generates is breathtaking, and with a human firecracker up front, their show is still truly something to behold.

If this band can get back to somewhere even close the level of notoriety they had attained by 2009, it will be a massive boon to the Aussie alternative and heavy music scene. Fingers crossed.