11 March 2009

Mastodon - Crack the Skye

It's everybody's least favorite phrase to hear, but it must be uttered; "I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed."

The other night—last Friday, to be precise—Nick, Sam and I were engaging in our usual bout of drinking post-BSG. At approximately 4AM, sufficiently greened and oated, we put on a copy of Crack the Skye that Nick had gotten (actual album drops 3/24). Here are the unedited notes that I jotted down about 6/7ths of the way through the album:

it kinda blows. i'm disappointed
i r can make and will make a better
album than this.
there is no ROCK! you left
it all out and overthought.
some passes, phrases, riffs
work, but not for length

right now i'm still kinda freaked out
because these are the first
Mastodon songs I've ever
No Good. Ugh.
You heard that correctly, I did not like it. Sure, I saw the (awesome) video for "Divinations" and that song is pretty good, but let's all admit it would have been one of the weaker tracks on Blood Mountain. As it turns out that is the best song on the album by a distance.

I'm not at all sure what the fellas were thinking, perhaps they were thinking too much. Nick's theory was that they all got carried away with people discussing all the singing on Blood Mountain and went that direction. While the singing was a little much (almost, but not quite as bad as on Cynic's new record Traced In Air, which is instrumentally great and vocally horrendous), I'm most disappointed in Brann. His rhythms are far too straightforward here, like he decided to dumb himself down so that people could groove on the guitars or something. Well, the guitars don't really groove and a lot of the passes are unremarkable and boring; the rhythms are tweaked just as a cover-up attempt at making a bad part more interesting.

For the past few days I've avoided posting anything regarding the album because I needed to do a bit of grieving. Now, I've accepted the fact that Mastodon have made a bad album, it was probably just a matter of time. If they're as good as we've all thought and seen, they'll follow this up with something spectacular. Unfortunately, this spark of hope does nothing to help me resolve my quandary over whether to attend their upcoming Brooklyn show in May. It's the day after my birthday and Kylesa (whose new album I've yet to hear) and Intronaut (whose latest, Prehistoricisms is pretty good, but a bit too wanky and disjointed) will be opening. I'd really love to see them. The major question is if I want to listen to Crack the Skye in its entirety and upon this listen, I'd rather not...


Wicked Boston Sports, Guy said...

Hey! You're a damn fool!

Wayne said...

It sucks when a beloved band lets you down.

But I'd say give this another listen in a few weeks or months or something, because I think it's a damn fine record. Just go see them live anyway...maybe you'll see the songs in a different light, plus, they'll play some older stuff right after that.

So, are the clean vocals the main sticking point?

BTW---the new Kylesa RULES