Wolfgang Van Halen, Mammoth WVH…
Mammoth WVH: Every so often I will get an album from a bassist/multi-instrumentalist where they have played all the parts on each of their tracks. Admittedly, most are good on a couple of instruments and mostly do just okay on the others. Unlike the aforementioned projects, MammothWVH is all Wolfgang Van Halen, on all the instruments, and he totally slays it!
Every one of the fourteen tracks are original compositions and are incredibly impressive.
I know Wolfgang started on drums so I expected him to be good on this instrument… but he is much better than good. Besides drums, Wolfgang also picked up the bass and acquired years of experience, so of course, he lays down a super-solid bass line with many juicy melodic runs. On top of that foundation, he builds all the vocals and intricate guitar work, and altogether it is quite the masterpiece. One bonus of doing all the vocals is that they are harmonically very compatible.
The music and arrangements are tight, melodic, and very unique. You might hear nuances of Van Halen tunes but these stand on their own. I predict this will be a real hit on the charts.
A project of this magnitude took years (Wolfgang started in 2015 and finished in 2019) and you notice his attention to detail.
The lyrics are revealing of where his head was during the time period and are very relatable. The bonus track, “Distance” is directed to his late father, the great Eddie Van Halen, and the video of this tune is a bittersweet tribute to his dad.
I have always believed that there is a therapeutic value to music both for the performer who bares their heart and to the audience who can relate to the emotions woven into the songs.
Another stand-out track for me is “Mammoth”. The drum work on this track is insane and I am in awe of anyone who can play double bass like that.
All in all, every track is very enjoyable and captures your attention until you hear them all.
Mammoth WVH is Available on Amazon.com starting June 11, 2021.