Polyphia have announced their first Australian headline tour. The band will play Brisbane, Sydney and …
Politically-charged funk-punk-groove beast Mammal is back with a fury.
MORE: FANGZ: Our Top 5 Bands Playing Halloween Hysteria // FROM CRISIS TO COLLAPSE: Talk Us through Their Essential Deserted Island Albums REVIEWS: KORN: Requiem // GHOST: Impera // DREAM WIDOW: Dream Widow // NERDLINGER: Hollywood Ritz // PUP: The Unraveling Of PUPTheBand // CANCER BATS: Psychic Jailbreak
The first new offering of vitriol since the addition of newest member Kade Turner two years ago, Crime Scene is an old school-hardcore inspired, rap-flavoured slap down of corporate power.
The song is a case of “going back to Mammal’s DNA,” promises frontman Ezekiel Ox, but at first he struggled with what the band’s first new music in four years should be about.
“I was grappling with what to say,” explains the always forthright singer and activist, “and I thought, why don’t we just not talk about the pandemic and go back to throwing shit at billionaires?”
“I was writing all these lyrics about COVID and stuff, and it was very difficult to come to terms with what to say. A lot of people who were affected by it were working people. I know everyone will have their own thoughts and feelings about COVID and lockdowns and stuff, but we wanted to get back to basics.”
In the end, Zeke decided to just go for the throat of those at whose feet he lays the blame for not doing enough to get the world out of crisis.
“If more people had pulled their weight, we could have dealt with it better,” Zeke says of the pandemic. “Less money going to war, less money going to offshore tax havens of billionaires and more into health and education, all these things during the pandemic that were put under pressure and stress.”
For a band that has always stood up for the little guy, it made perfect sense.
We wanted to get people back to calling for taxing the rich, stop funding the war, and making billionaires fucking cough up and pay their share. You can only eat one meal at a time. You can only drive one car at a time. If one person needs a meal and has no car, and another person can afford a billion meals and a billion cars—that needs to be fixed.
[ Ezekiel Ox ]
“We’ve always been really firm about choosing a side, and that side is with working people, unemployed workers, underemployed workers and not the boss. We’re always been firm on that line in the sand. This one is about the ‘winners’, and that they’re never really going to rest and they’ll never be satisfied. Nothing’s going to ever be enough for them. It’s a crime scene: we’re seeing wage theft, environmental destruction, destruction of sacred sites all around the world, displacement of indigenous people—it just goes on and on. It’s criminal in our opinion.”
The pandemic put many things on hold, but Mammal was working throughout, putting together ideas and writing new material with Turner, who replaced Nick Adams in 2020. Crime Scene should have been completed a lot sooner, but an accident involving a few too many beers and an electric scooter caused a bit of a setback for the singer.
“I broke a rib celebrating the Dees’ Grand Final win last year,” he says, unrepentantly, “and I couldn’t sing. I was supposed to record the vocals in December, but I had to re-book all the flights and I ended up doing it in January.”
Keeping in tune with their mission to go back to their roots, Mammal recorded at Sing Sing in Melbourne with Jimi Maroudas, who recorded the band’s original EP back in 2006. Pete Williamson’s wailing guitar, the thudding groove of Turner and drummer Zane Rosanoski and Zeke’s snarling hard rhyme delivery recalls the early rage of that release.
“It’s back to Mammal’s DNA and doing what we do in a post-pandemic world,” Zeke says. “We wanted to get people back to calling for taxing the rich, stop funding the war, and making billionaires fucking cough up and pay their share. You can only eat one meal at a time. You can only drive one car at a time. If one person needs a meal and has no car, and another person can afford a billion meals and a billion cars—that needs to be fixed.”