Mamuthones - Symphony For The Devil - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Mamuthones - Symphony For The Devil

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2015-09-30

The art of musical bastardry is a delicate one. Mamuthones cover the Rolling Stones track 'Sympathy for the Devil' from Beggars Banquet and the question is, do they have something relevant to contribute to the song's legacy? Well, if you to cover a song that sits so prominently in the public consciousness, then make it your own, stamp some personality on it, lest it be seen as some kind of commercially advantageous gesture.

Having said that, there is a kind of symmetry about Mamuthones covering a song about the devil and his malevolent deeds, given the group are steeped in the Italian occult. They take their name from the death-masked pre-Christian processions in Sardinia over 2000 years ago, a tradition that is honoured in Sardinia to this day.

From the den of iniquity then, to the dancefloor of the disaffected, Mamuthones set a beatbox vibe which even has my kids nodding their heads in uncritical approbation. This version is a humorous attempt to subvert the song's underlying meaning by appealing to the side of your brain that just wants to zone out and dance. The consciousness expansion in this version is more cathartic than intellectual, not that the Stones were really that way either, but 1968 was a year of violent social change which provoked darker themes than pre-existed during the flower power era. 

This version, ‘Symphony for The Devil’ is recognizable with the original, but is a significantly different creature. Aside from variations to the pulse, there is experimental electronica firing hissy ray guns of dancefloor hypnotica into the air, and guitars layering feedback and reverberating in ever increasing intensity as the 'whoo hoo' of original song fame loops incessantly in the background. Excellent stuff. The Giant Swan remix on the EP is an altogether scarier, grimier, pitch-black version.

'Any Longer' is a more corrosive example of Mamuthones' music. A diatribe set to war drums and unholy breakouts of noise-rock. 

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