Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mastodon's "Curl of the Burl" Single Streaming (Elsewhere) Now!

We're having a mustache competition at work.  It seems hipster-y and lame, and I'm not going to deny that.  My boss, who is a cool dude, thought of the idea as a fun way for everybody to humiliate themselves for a whole month, thereby making us like each other better or something.  The contest features three prizes: the first is the "Best Tom Selleck Award," which will be given to the guy with the fluffiest and fullest mustache in the company; the second award is the "Creepiest Mustache Award," which will be given to whoever looks most like a legit pervert with a mustache (for which my boss is the clear front runner right now); and the third is the "Nice Try Award," which will be given to the person who grows the lamest mustache.

And I'm a lock for that third award.

And with a $500 pot spread among three prizes, being a lock for one makes for a great return on investment, to misappropriate a business term.

Observe my two week mustache, in all it's weak, lame glory:

Fucking LOCK!

It's going to be awesome when I win that money, but there's always a flipside to this kind of thing.  Namely, I have exactly fifteen days left of making the average 13 year old look like a  hairy dynamo with a totally boss 'stache.  I have exactly fifteen days left of hearing things like this:

"Are...are you trying to grow a mustache?  HEY GUYS, HE'S TRYING TO GROW A MUSTACHE!  LOOK HOW LAME IT IS!"--Josh, at band practice

"That's not a mustache!  What are you, twelve?!?"--Jessica, at work

"You weren't joking; you can't grow a mustache at all.  That's pathetic."--Cheri, at work

Luckily, looking at my reflection in the mirror makes me laugh every time I see it, because otherwise it would make it a lot more difficult for me to withstand the ever-flowing stream of people who like to tell me that I look like a faggot.  But when I have my cash money after only an entire month of escalating humiliations, they're going to look stupid.  Real stupid.

What I'm trying to say is that growth is inevitable, but it's not always the thing to do, especially if you choose the wrong avenue for it.  Which brings me to the new Mastodon song, "Curl of the Burl," which is streaming on Metalsucks right now.

I'd like to preface this by saying that I am (or at least once was) a Mastodon diehard.  I was just a couple steps short of being a super fan, like how I am right now with Trap Them.  I got the Blood Mountain bundle off of their website when that came out, and it came with a totally sweet "The Wolf is Loose" shirt that I quickly became too fat to wear anymore.  I bought Crack the Skye the day it came out, and I sat down and listened to it two times straight through while I played Skate 3 on Xbox 360.

I remember thinking to myself, "Oh god, Mastodon sucks now!  OH NO..."

In all fairness, however, Crack the Skye grew on me and, though it definitely contained the band's weakest material that I've come across yet, the album also contained some of the best material that they've come up with to date, and included a couple of totally righteous hooks in there too.

I'm feeling a little less optimistic with their upcoming album The Hunter now that I've listened to the leadoff single "Curl of the Burl."  Now I would never demean what such a (formerly) excellent band has built up, and I'm all about at least one of our own enjoying some commercial success.  I'm not one of those guys who will accuse them of selling out; I don't think that's really a thing, or at least it's not as much of a thing as people would like to give it credit for.  I would like to say that, if this is Mastodon's permanent direction, they've lost me.

Crack the Skye really opened itself up to me after a few listens; indeed, I'm the kind of dude that will give an album a little bit of time to grow on me, and that's exactly what Crack the Skye did.  But I remember the distinct feeling that if they were going to keep pushing this direction, with the vocals that sound like the dude from cKy over halfhearted prog riffs, I was going to be bummed out.  And like my decision to grow a weak ass mustache for an entire month, Mastodon took the wrong direction and decided that their growth necessitated the need to phase out writing good music.

It's a real heart breaker.

My fear is that this trend will continue, and by the time Mastodon decides to "return to their roots," Bon Jovi-style, they'll have forgotten how to do what made them so great, and they'll just be writing lame radio rock, complete with Disturbed vocals, cheesy hooks and poorly drawn lyrical metaphors.

What I'm saying is that, when it comes to new Mastodon, I rate it like I rate my mustache; it's weak, lame, and drains me of hope for the future.

I'll miss you, Mastodon.  But we'll always have Leviathan.

Don't believe me?  Listen to it here for yourself, and follow the link to "Black Tongue," which features some sweet woodworking to try and make up for the lackluster music.

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