527. The Mammals – “Departure”

I do try and adhere to my ‘judge an album in isolation’ rule.  This means that comparisons to other releases from an artist should be avoided.

a album cover The Mammals Departure CD ReviewBut it’s hard. When I press play I have some preconceptions as to what a band is capable of.  And when those expectations aren’t meant it does affect my perception.

This album is certainly a case in point. This folk act who I encountered first at Port Fairy, then again in Copenhagen, played rollicking bluegrass live and also on an EP I play quite regularly.

But this full-lengther is slow, slickly produced with a very full, alt-country-lite sound.  And it just doesn’t gel with me as I crave the energy and playfulness of what I know this band is/was capable of.

And, again, this album also suffers from the best two tracks being covers of classic tunes – Satisfied Mind and Come as you are.  Certainly they are superb renditions that sit comfortably with the overall collection but it all feels too safe and slightly ponderous.

File under: A road too far

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