Heavy Song of the Week is a feature on Heavy Consequence breaking down the top metal and hard rock tracks you need to hear every Friday. This week the top spot goes to Mammoth WVH’s “Another Celebration at the End of the World.”
Wolfgang Van Halen has made it abundantly clear: He has no intention of playing Van Halen songs with his project Mammoth WVH.
Since launching his project Mammoth WVH, the son of the late Eddie Van Halen has remained committed to writing, recording, and performing original material. That still hasn’t stopped the haters from sending Wolfgang spiteful messages over social media. Earlier this week, Wolfgang once again took to Twitter to dismiss his detractors.
“Either you be a Van Halen Jr. and people get pissed at you for riding coattails, or you DON’T and you’re disrespecting the legacy,” he wrote. “It’s bonkers.”
Really, why should Wolfgang play Van Halen songs? He’s already established himself as a commercially viable artist in his own right, dialing up chart success with the widely heard singles “Distance” and “Don’t Back Down” from the first Mammoth WVH album, and touring with Guns N’ Roses and Alter Bridge, among others (with a major support slot for Metallica’s upcoming world tour on the horizon).
“Another Celebration at the End of the World” — the lead single for Mammoth WVH’s recently announced sophomore album, Mammoth II — is further proof of Wolfgang’s talent and confidence as a writer and performer. Once again, he tracked all the instruments himself, laying down a rousing slab of heavy power pop. His lead vocal is as commanding as his virtuosic guitar playing, which includes some satiating shredder leads.
While the track is a radio-friendly introduction to Mammoth II, Wolfgang has said that other songs on the album have a more metal influence, citing prog behemoths Meshuggah as an example. We’re keen to hear what he’s cooked up when the LP drops on August 4th.
Senior Staff Writer
Gozu – “Tom Cruise Control”
After a lengthy five-year break, Gozu emerged this week with news of a new album, Remedy, and its lead single “Tom Cruise Control.” The Boston band were stalwarts of the mid-2010s stoner metal explosion, and the track conjures a nostalgia for that brief golden era of doom riffs and plumes of smoke. In guitarist-singer Marc Gaffney’s own words, Gozu are better musicians than they were in 2018, and “Tom Cruise Control” touts some crafty guitar arrangements that delve into both hypnotic psych-rock repetition and mellower Alice in Chains-y sections.
OFF! – “Keep Your Mouth Shut”
Punk supergroup OFF! threw us a curveball with 2022’s Free LSD. Wielding an unlikely combo of hardcore and free jazz, the band broke a half-decade of silence with an album teeming with fresh ideas — uncommon for a supergroup. The sessions must have been particularly fruitful, as the upcoming FLSD EP features four studio outtakes and unabridged versions of the free-jazz workouts on Free LSD. For all of the band’s recent experimental tendencies, the EP’s lead track “Keep Your Mouth Shut” is a reminder that OFF! can still rip at full tilt. It’s a roaring cut, though we can see why it may not have fit on Free LSD, conceptually speaking. The song finds a second life on the new EP.
Nita Strauss – “Winner Takes All (feat. Alice Cooper)”
It was recently announced that guitarist Nita Strauss would be returning to Alice Cooper’s touring band for the legendary shock rocker’s upcoming dates. Strauss had exited the group last year to play in Demi Lovato’s band. Thankfully, the gig with Cooper will continue to run parallel to her budding solo project rather than supersede it. In fact, she got the man himself to sing on her latest single, “Winner Takes All.” The song’s ’80s-style production combined with Cooper’s vocals invokes his underrated 1989 glam-metal album Trash. And per usual, Strauss is on top of her game, unleashing flamethrower leads and arena-ready riffs.