Back in 2019, I reviewed a band by the name of Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard. Some might be turned off by that name, but I rather liked it. Well, that band is now called simply MWWB, and they are back with a new album called The Harvest. It released on March 25th.
MWWB hails from the UK. They’ve had a very busy couple of years, especially with their guitarist experiencing health issues. The band has survived, though, and the lineup on this record (according to Discogs) is Paul Michael Davies on guitar, keys, and horn arrangement; and Jessica Ball on vocals, keys, cello, and effects. You will also hear Stuart Sinclair on bass and Dom McCready on drums. I’m not sure about the accuracy of all of that since the label didn’t include a bio with the promo.
On paper, I should have always liked this band. They combine celestial doom sounds with electronica. It’s an amazing combination. However, per my review of their last album, I felt like the band often became lost within their own compositions. Chugging guitars made up most of the album, lacking in tonal shifts or any sort of progression.
With The Harvest, those feelings are gone for me. This record is exactly what I hoped. It is heavy, sludgy, and dark, but also full of swirling color, light, and melody. The band has injected a bit of progressive sense and myriad effects into their sound, making it feel more varied and dynamic. I feel like Jessica’s vocals are more prominent, as well, which improves the balance dramatically.
The album plays as one long piece, sort of. It offers tracks of down and dirty doom, like the title track, or even electronic pieces like the stunning ambience of “Interstellar Wrecking” or the opener “Oblok Magellana”. The band has discovered a way to achieve real equilibrium, and so the transitions are a real pleasure. Basically, the band alternates between spacey doom tracks and electronic, cinematic pieces. It’s a great structure.
My favorite songs include two I just mentioned. “The Harvest” itself is a nitty gritty sludge fest that buries us deeply and quickly, but the chorus opens wide with airy magnificence. “Interstellar Wrecking” flirts with Vangelis and Tangerine Dream in all its cosmic glory. But the album is only just getting started there.
I love “Logic Bomb” with its catchy chorus and detailed guitar work. I love the electronic beat of “Betrayal” and whimsical interstellar vibes of “Let’s Send These Bastards Whence They Came”, but I love just as much the darkness and heaviness of “Altamira” and the instrumental “Strontium”. One of my favorites overall is the closer, “Moon Rise”. This slow-burning, reserved track has quite an “end of this part of the story” vibe, plus subtle keys and haunting vocal whispers here and there. It’s an effective conclusion.
I think that I’m really going to like this new era of MWWB. The Harvest doesn’t make you feel buried six miles deep in blood and mud, or, rather, it doesn’t leave you there. It constantly brings you to the surface for a breather before sinking you once again. I like that and I like the roller coaster effect it has. This album will definitely find the band more fans.
Find MWWB online: