New Heavy Sounds is proud to present the new album by MWWB. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard is no more.
Long live MWWB.
There has been some speculation amongst fan circles that the final part of the trilogy of albums that preceded this, marked the end of Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard’s five-year mission. Not so.
We can categorically confirm that having officially slimmed their name down to the acronym, MWWB are continuing their voyage through the far reaches of the galaxy.
The first phase of that journey is their new album ‘The Harvest’.
‘The Harvest’ which is set for release on 25th March (New Heavy Sounds) is the band’s fourth album, and of course it is a record shot through with the trademark MWWB sound, however it also sees the band adding more experimentation, a progressive approach, and going a bit more left-field conceptually. Vocalist Jessica comments on the album’s title track which the band have shared today.
“The Harvest, both as a song and an album, represents an array of emotions.. it wasn’t planned. It is a raw, real-time experience of processing difficulties in both personal and general life. It’s emotionally scatty; much like the spectrum of reactions and feelings we go through in response to being alive. In relation to our other albums, The Harvest feels to us like we are reaping what we’ve sown.”
Listen to the track now: https://mammothweedwizardbastard.bandcamp.com/album/the-harvest
Nine tracks flowing into one another. Space age riff monsters segueing into shorter musical interludes, where John Carpenter, rubs shoulders with Pink Floyd and a maelstrom of moog and mellotron. There are surprises, and of course a bucketload of heavy shit.
Originally planned for release in March last year the album had to suddenly be delayed after guitarist Dave suffered a severe, almost life ending stroke at the beginning of the year after contracting COVID. Vocalist Jessica explains,
“Happy new year! I just wanted to give our fans a long-awaited update regarding Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard.If you’ve been following our posts on social media, you’ll be aware that our guitarist Dave sadly suffered quite a severe stroke back in the beginning of 2021 after contracting Coronavirus.
It’s been a long and arduous road for him ever since. He had to be put into a medically induced coma while the doctors battled to keep his oxygen levels up. It was touch and go for many months, and at one point we were told to say our final goodbyes to him.
As we all waited for that awful day to come, Dave had other ideas. Against the predictions of the doctors, he came back fighting. Fast forward to today, and Dave is doing exceedingly well in rehabilitation and once again surpassing the expectations of everyone around him. Despite the life-altering effects of having a stroke, including relearning speech and movement, Dave has worked his hardest at every challenge presented to him and it shows. He is visited regularly by his partner Charlie and their son Zeke, who have been nothing but incredibly strong and positive for all of us through this time.
I’m so happy to say that the album we recorded before Dave fell ill will be released in March, and we can all share in the experience together. Thank you so much to all our fans who have been patient with us and stuck around. This album is for you! Sending my thoughts, love and utmost strength to all those who have been affected by this virus.”
With ‘The Harvest’ MWWB have refined and honed their sound, it’s a carefully crafted distillation of ideas, written, conceived and sequenced to be listened to in its entirety (preferably in one sitting). MWWB have always loved film scores and this new album is in many ways, the soundtrack to a film. MWWB provide the musical narrative (the song titles also providing a pointer) and the listener’s imagination does the rest.
To some extent, it shares similarities with Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’. Not only by having the mix of experimentation and melodicism as that seminal record, but also in the way that it has been engineered and constructed as a seamless piece.
Kudos here must go to producer Chris Fielding, who has masterminded an epic sound world, with a much more close up ‘in your face’ mix. Meticulously bringing out every nuance, from soft and atmospheric, to expansive and crushingly heavy.
Jessica’s vocals in particular, have never sounded better.
‘Oblok Magellana’ and its spooky atmospherics set the scene. before things really kick in with the riffs of title track ‘The Harvest’. A grooving Sabbathian chug intro’s Jessica Ball, who at the top of her game throughout. Her voice simultaneously sweet yet dark; almost neofolk; which when put against those riffs, is always a startling juxtaposition, nevertheless it perfectly crystallises MWWB’s distinctive dynamic.
‘Interstellar Wrecking’ is a succinctly crafted nugget of John Carpenter-esque drama, you can imagine the thundering mothership forging its way through the universe on some nameless quest before encountering ‘Logic Bomb’ and its fat fuzzed-up ride through light and shade guitar/vocal interplay. Ball’s voice soaring and shimmering throughout.
‘Betrayal’ gives a nod to Pink Floyd’s ‘On The Run’ but with its freaky spoken word and four on the floor kick it’s almost a dance track, yet there’s no incongruity here.
‘Altamira’ is epic MWWB, adding large doses of psych into a melodic concoction of dreampop and metal. Ball’s vocals here, are many layered and textured effortlessly gliding through the weight of the backing.
‘Let’s Send The Bastards Whence They Came’ is another little gem. A plaintive repeating synth figure that builds with bass, drums, mellotrons and synths into ‘Strontium’ which rounds off the album’s ‘heavy’ numbers, a blend of monster grooves, and Ball’s swooning vocals.
Finally, and outstandingly, Jessica strips things back to a distorted guitar and voice on ‘Moonrise’. Shorn of the layers of fuzz, it is a simple, beautiful and fitting catharsis to an epic voyage.
This is the album the band say they have always wanted to make, and it is in many ways a pivotal one for them. Not least because this is a record that has also been marked by the adversity and upheaval that has affected the music scene in 2020. The name change may have been on the cards, but the pandemic has meant that the band’s personnel was reduced to the core unit of Jessica Ball, Paul Michael Davies and Stuart Sinclair, guitarist Wes Leon and drummer ‘Carrat’ Carrington being unable to take part on this album. However, the band all look forward to working together on future endeavours when the time is right.
So, with Dom McCready, old friend and erstwhile drummer of labelmates Black Moth superbly handling the drum chores, we can confidently say that despite these setbacks, MWWB have produced an essential document and possibly their finest album to date.
‘The Harvest’ will be released on 25th March 2022 through New Heavy Sounds on limited edition deluxe coloured vinyl in two colour variants as well as cd and digital formats. Pre-order now:
MWWB are Jessica Ball, vocals and synths. Paul Michael Davies, guitar and synths. Stuart Sinclair, bass and Dom McCready, drums.