Review: Mammoth WVH - Mammoth (2021)

Wolfgang Van Halen's certainly a difficult task, to make himself appreciated in the world of music with such a heavy surname. In situations like these, it is easy to find all the doors of the world open from a very young age he had replaced Mr. Michael Anthony in the last period of Van Halen and collaborated with one of the most important guitarists of the current scene such as Mark Tremonti. The difficulty comes now, namely that of not letting people say "he is here thanks to his dad".

Well, let's say that his first solo album is a nice business card, since he composed every single note and always alone he took care of all the instruments, with an excellent result, both behind the microphone and on the guitar, bass and drums. So the compliments go to him and they are well deserved. I mentioned Tremonti earlier. Well, a lot of material on this album is comparable to his solo material, a sign that his experience with Mark has marked him a lot as an artist.

Anticipated by a frightening number of singles (6, if I remember correctly), if you want a taste of its qualities behind every single instrument, try it with Feel, with tasty drum lines and a really impressive vocal line. But the good pieces are certainly not lacking in this debut: the opener Mr. Ed (any reference to his father is purely coincidental), the robust Don't Back Down (video at the bottom of the page) and the 4 singles I mentioned earlier are all towards the end of the record. There are also songs "for everyone" like You're to blame and Distance which, however, I find really successful and engaging despite their being pimps.

And here we are at the usual moment of each review where I say that the record is too long, welcome. This time I don't think I'm the only one who thinks that 58 minutes is really too long for this debut that shines in some moments but which also has several drops in tension with pieces that are too "modern" (is it a bad thing?), with few variations of writing inspired or not. We find them almost all in the central part of the disc: Resolve, You'll be the one (saved by a nice solo) the title track with a great riff but with ideas already heard during the album and the really too verbose Stone with some good atmospheres but also with a disproportionate length, as far as I'm concerned.

In any case, applause to Wolfgang and the wish for a long and successful career. The future can be his.

Rating 68/100
Top tracks: Think it over, Feel, Distance.
Skip tracks: Resolve, Stone.

01. Mr. Ed
02. Horribly Right
03. Epiphany
04. Don't Back Down
05. Resolve
06. You'll Be The One
07. Mammoth
08. Circles
09. The Big Picture
10. Think It Over
11. You're To Blame
12. Feel
13. Stone
14. Distance 

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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