Extended Shadow Work
Earlier this month Mammal Hands returned with a new EP entitled ‘Becoming’ to sign off as an extended accompaniment to their third album ‘Shadow Work’ which was released last year. it holds three excellent tracks which all feel and move in different ways and its another must have for anyone who enjoys Jazzy trios and want something similar to but not quite GoGo Penguin.
For the uninitiated Mammal Hands’ trio is formed from piano, saxophone and percussion. In the seven and half minute title track that opens the EP we hear them in their most anthemic. It’s a track that they say is inspired by hip-hop and you can hear it in the huge build-ups, stomping drum beats and the way the saxophone and piano both wrap around each other dramatically in the second half. “Refuge” is a lush muted piece that is melodically unfurling into your ears lovingly. The muted brushed percussion really stands out here as it rises and falls alongside the tides of piano chords and the flow of the saxophone. “Shimmer” closes the EP out with a darker, stealthy lounge jazz piece. Each instrument is played at a creeping slither of a snake. For me, the piano section really stands out here as it gently rains down in the higher notes with just the lightest of cymbal runs underneath it. It’s full of beauty and elegance but with more than a hint of mystery to it which gives it a unique vibe.
I always find the saxophone a marmite instrument for me personally and Mammal Hands are one of about three bands that have ever broken that barrier to make me truly appreciate the instrument. Mammal Hands continue to show they are truly on top of their game. This is jazz-infused gold.
Recommended track: Becoming
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