Release DetailsLABEL Ranch Records
RELEASED ON 10/21/2003
posted on 12/2003 By:
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone who’s ever professed to me a desire to listen to slightly cheesy 70’s psychedelic spy music. I suppose that’s a good thing, because I’ve never really heard any bands playing it outside of those who did scores for movies back then. Until now, that is. The Mutants, Spinefarm’s most unusual new recruits, play some sort of mix between progressive rock, soul, jazz, funk, surf rock, and music that would have fit perfectly into Bond movies from the late 60’s and early 70’s. Looking at promotional pictures of the band, they’ve got the “indie” image going, a sort of post-grunge type thing, and it’s people like these that generally do the most musical experimentation, and I must say that I’ve never heard anything like this before, or at least nothing that was made past the late 70’s. Complete with hand drums galore, spoken introductions to songs in the quintessential exploitation movie style of low-pitched African American, and some of the quirkiest keyboard effects (names for which I haven’t even the faintest idea of) that my ears have ever been graced with. I love it. Now, this certainly isn’t metal by any stretch of even the most imaginative imagination, but it’s something I certainly think anyone with an open enough mind to accept deafening growls and crushing riffs could most likely enjoy. If nothing else, Voodoo Blues is one hell of a party album, perfect to put on, sit back, toss back some beers and pretend to be all philosophical with friends. Not that I do that or anything. More than any tracks standing out as better than the rest, there’s just one that’s absolutely atrocious, especially among an album that is elsewhere comprised of such nicely done and whacked out music. That song is the sixth on the record, entitled Stampede Caravan. Where the rest of the music fits snugly into the groove-laden genre of 70’s soul but with a slightly harder edge, Stampede Caravan switches back and forth between a typical 50’s rock tune and 60’s swinger music (think something that they’d have featured at Austin Powers’ pad in one of his movies….yuck!). However, it’s a four-minute low point that really doesn’t bring down the overall morale of the album. While all besides the aforementioned are great songs, those I find myself listening to most are the opener, Caligula, the fifth track, Lumbago, and the eighth, Papa Simba. And now that I’ve stated that those are the best, listening again I find them very hard to describe. Caligula probably rocks the most on the album. It’s got a nice laid-back vibe but the guitar parts get relatively heavy at times and there are some nice solos to be found. Lumbago, on the other hand, is relaxed, with a western feel that transitions into psychedelia and back seamlessly. Papa Simba is the only song that brings to mind another band worthy of comparison, and of course, it’s another obscure band named Hidria Spacefolk. Where the comparison can most notably be made is when the flute part comes in about halfway into the song. I certainly don’t recommend this under any circumstances to metal purists, but for people who like to have some fun, lighthearted and easy to digest music for a change of pace now and then, this is undoubtedly a worthy addition to your collection. I’ve found myself listening to it more than I initially thought I would. Despite the fact that it’s music based on a gimmick, it’s got staying power; after at least ten or fifteen listens, I still find myself wanting to hear it again.
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