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Mamaleek - Diner Coffee review




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Band: Mamaleek
Album: Diner Coffee
Release date: September 2022


01. Libations To Sacred Clowns
02. Boiler Room
03. Badtimers
04. Save Your Poor Wicked Soul
05. Grief And A Headhunter's Rage
06. Wharf Rats In The Moonlight
07. Diner Coffee


I know we're stuck in the black lodge and all, but, excuse me, this is a damn fine cup of coffee!

Mamaleek is a very interesting beast, from the mysterious identity of the members (the kids in the profile photo are them, but that's the only one you'll find), to how they sit on the fringes of experimental music, once upon a time having been something you could theoretically call a metal band. When I reviewed 2020's Come & See, they had already established their left-field sound as something very odd yet uniquely theirs. Though they're not a metal band anymore, there's still so much dormant heaviness in their music, that I can see metal fans having an easier time getting into them than say jazz fans, though Mamaleek's bizarre nature is not making it easy for anyone to get into their music theoretically.

Aside from the heavy riffing and the gruff vocals that plant at least one of this beast's feet in metal territories, Diner Coffee uses dark jazz to create otherworldly and ominous atmospheres. There are a lot of descriptors that could be used for this that I've also used for this, but just like some other avant-garde counterpart, it managed to actually sound dreamlike and nightmarish in as much more than just sounding merely disturbing. That otherworldly sensation could indeed be either the dream world, or something much much more malevolent. The Twin Peaks reference in the cover art is hopefully more than just me reading too much into it, and as much as describing something as "Lynchian" could be eye-rolling, there's very little music out there which can hit that absurdly otherworldly tone, but Diner Coffee can.

Much more than just being surreal, Diner Coffee is very anxiety-inducing, from its dark jazz atmospheres, the muffled production, the noise rock injections, blues melodies, and the way it still manages to flow organically within its dreamlike atmosphere. Though the album is very short, barely over 35 minutes in runtime, and a lot of it is sitting within calmer territories, the listening experience is very unnerving, as if you had spent much more time with this album than you'd be comfortable with. It's not as disorienting as some of its similarly nightmarish peers, alternating the being-stuck-in-a-lobby with the dynamic-chase-scene type of nightmare. In the grander Mamaleek universe, it was a pretty tough challenge to out-weird themselves, but I think it worked out.

As if stuck between two worlds, with a chance out that a magician would long to see, one whose darkness of future past would require the walking companionship of fire. Or just a nice cup of coffee.






Written on 08.10.2022 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments

Comments: 3   Visited by: 95 users
08.10.2022 - 17:16
Rating: 10
Jacob Butcher

I'm glad the album got a review at all. Sometimes I have the feeling that the label does almost no promotion for their artists. And Mamaleek in particular deserved more attention, in my opinion. Especially because they don't simply hide behind the same genre-typical themes and patterns, but are quite as extraordinary lyrically as they are musically. And it's exactly this contrast that makes the music so uncanny, lynchian or effective in my opinion: they cleverly combine avant-garde instrumentation with raw, honest lyrics and vocals about life in the lower strata of society.
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08.10.2022 - 19:44
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Jacob Butcher on 08.10.2022 at 17:16

I'm glad the album got a review at all. Sometimes I have the feeling that the label does almost no promotion for their artists. And Mamaleek in particular deserved more attention, in my opinion. Especially because they don't simply hide behind the same genre-typical themes and patterns, but are quite as extraordinary lyrically as they are musically. And it's exactly this contrast that makes the music so uncanny, lynchian or effective in my opinion: they cleverly combine avant-garde instrumentation with raw, honest lyrics and vocals about life in the lower strata of society.

Saw quite a bit about them in the band's FB group and the newsletter. But I guess you don't reach those unless you're specifically searching for Flenser stuff.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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22.02.2023 - 17:50
Desha
delicious dish
This was really nice! This type of atmosphere is not something you see often and I it's pulled off really nicely here. Or it might just be you don't often see it in metal contexts and it's much more common in other places that I just don't check out? Anyways, pretty much agree with everything you said about it. Might check out their other stuff now too, wonder how different it'll be.
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You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
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