A few years ago, a British music-journalist argued that McLusky was the most underrated band ever to come out of the UK and a total “bands’ band” meaning that they were known by musicians all over the globe but not loved by enough fans to really have a shot at it. When listening to Greek outfit Mammock one might get the idea that they listened to the Welsh Noise-mongers because they share a love for flurry, hectic Noise-Rock songs on the one hand and some atmospheric Post-Punk elegies on the other hand. Enter their second full-length Rust!
This shall in no way imply that Mammock from Athens are copy-cats because they aren’t which becomes clear with the first moment when singer Andreas opens his mouth because he does not hide the similarities between his voice and Dead Kennedys vocalist Jello Biafra. He also has this certain shakiness in his vocal style that was a trademark of Jello’s upon which he built a whole career. (If Mammock were to do the same because of Andreas, they won’t complain, I’m sure!)
What is striking about Mammock is their sense of songwriting and song arrangement because they did the old Nirvana-trick on Rust as well, ending with a slower song that is nevertheless really interesting in order for people to hit repeat. What ”Something in the Way” (neglecting “Endless, Nameless” for once) was for Nevermind could be ”Away From Them” for Rust even though Mammock is not completely able to keep the itchiness at bay and the song calm. Their finale has some real eruptions but that might also be because of the completely different characters of the record because Rust is not based on the Pixies but more likely on The Jesus Lizard.
Nevertheless, do not underestimate the Greek quartet (which they are again after having had a change behind the drum kit): They have a kind of agenda and it is a good one as they try to be a voice for the unheard. ”Boiling Frog”, the first real track after the noisey, calmly-scratching intro ”Amelia”, makes it pretty clear what they want to say throughout the whole song – women are to be respected and heard not harassed or raped! They make that unmistakably clear with the last line: ”NO! NO MEANS FUCKIN’ NO!” Words that cannot ever be said loud or clear enough are the end of a song which portrays a woman facing all the patriarchal elements of society trying to derange the blame towards the victim and exculpating the perpetrator.
Other topics on the record are the pains and struggles of the lower-classes, the fake-ness of society, the feeling of loneliness among 8,000,000,000 people and many more. That is a real asset of Rust - it got something to say. Sometimes, it does so in surrealistic pictures (”Like a fuckin’ puma, the cement in the ceiling stares back at me / Waiting to engage, the sweat is dripping, like my dearest enemy”, from ”Bats) and sometimes in very clear words (”Black helmets, fangs and machine guns / fight for your freedom, my love”, from ”Last Days of the Second Elephant Man”). Mammock are good at both versions.
That is something they definitely share with McLusky, “the most underrated band ever”. As well as their musical capabilities. As well as a certain sense of humor. Let’s just hope that Mammock doesn’t end up as the next bands’ band that not enough people have heard of, they definitely deserve your attention!