Thursday, February 24, 2011


It's kind of odd how a wooly mammoth drenched in melting pastels is the first visual impression a band wants to make, but Laserfang, a Salt Lake City based band known for their energetic and unforgettable live performances, sport this prehistoric psychedelic beast on the cover of their debut album with pride,  and its gaudy design (courtesy of artist Sri Whipple) ends up being a perfect accessory to the band's abrasively colorful sound and spirit.

Mammoth, a 9-track trip through a kaleidoscope of funky rhythms, buzzy guitars, stabbing brass, and blotches of electronic noise, is the most interesting album I've heard in over a decade. Devoid of obvious influences and genre, Laserfang should be filed under 'Mindfuck', 'WTF', or have a genre named after them. Each track on the record is named after a famous TV or movie villain and the accompanying music matches each characters menacing facade. "Master Control Program" is the perfect introduction track. It is an 8-minute roller coaster through Laserfang's psyche-- danceable rhythms, trippy transitions, buzzing bass lines, infectious guitar riffs, crisp drums, and oddly hypnotizing vocals-- a true crayola box of noise. "Priss & Roy" enters the vortex like it was part of the intro track and continues to peacock and strut along with Shane Asbridge's retro cries, cradling them in streaks of whirs and computerized keys. "Alan Stanwyck", the bands stand out track, is entrancing. A voodoo cobra like composition that's ready to be lauded by blogs, the giants of indie rock press, and every American Apparel wearing hipster apathetically flicking clove ash into a PBR, which instantly makes me wonder-- why haven't these guys been dubbed 'the next big thing' yet?

The caboose of the record begins to show off a cool and calm side of Laserfang. "Sardo Numpsa" is a slithering jazz smoked cut with latin undertones and "Aunty Entity" a slight nod to the 70's; however, the pace picks right back up with the spastic, robotic vocalized "Baron Vladimir Harkonnen" and "Hans Gruber", the album's closer that gives a smooth landing to one turbulent voyage through the mind of Laserfang.

Despite their cult following in Utah, it took Laserfang five years to put their brains on wax, but the wait was well worth it. Mammoth is a word that not only explains their sound and their shows, but their balls and their future.

(click the artist link to purchase)
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