Of all the albums released in 2021, the one I’ve been asked about the most by listeners has been Mammoth WVH. It’s natural to be curious; we’re talking about the son of a legend finally stepping out on his own after all. However, the family relation is really where everything ends musically when it comes down to father and son. Sure, Wolfie is a very talented musician with a good voice but there’s nothing on this album that would be mistaken for ‘Hot for Teacher’ or ‘Jamie’s Cryin.’ That’s not, necessarily, a bad thing.
I’ve really tried to be open minded about this release. While many of my fellow Van Halen-loving friends have heaped indelible amounts of praise on this album; some even calling it the best album of the year, I’m afraid I differ in my assessment. The playing on this album is top notch and that’s a credit to Wolfie alone as he’s handling all musical duties here. He gets an A for effort as far as playing and production on this.The guitars are nice and out front like I like them. The vocals are well-done, in key, and have zero hint of auto-tune or studio trickery. My hat’s off for that.
However, the most important thing, the songs don’t do a whole lot for me. There are some good melodies here but it’s just not my bag, overall. That’s no fault to Wolfie, it’s just my taste. Wolfie grew up during the grunge and post-grunge era and those influences are definitely on display on this album. I hear the influence of several acts from the early aughts including Foo Fighters, Alter Bridge, Jimmy Eat World and others.
I think we’ll learn more about Wolfie as an original act on his sophomore album. For now, this is a decent start but, to me, it’s far from the best album of the year. Did it make my Top 15? Listen to Decibel Geek podcast’s upcoming Best of 2021 episode to find out.
Favorite songs: ‘Don’t Back Down,’ ‘Think It Over,’ ‘The Distance’
More info, merch, and album purchase opportunities at https://www.mammothwvh.com/