Mastodon - "Show Yourself" (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

5 April 2017

Mastodon may not be reinventing the wheel here, but they take one on a fun trip nonetheless.
PHOTO: JIMMY HUBBARD  

Morgan Y. Evans: I am a longtime Mastodon fan, from having flown from New York to see them and Kylesa once in New Orleans for my birthday to having a hysterical memory of blasting Remission in snail pace traffic near the Lincoln Tunnel with original Coheed and Cambria/Shabutie drummer Nate Kelley years ago to get cars inclined to move forward. Their goofy side was good marketing in that it allowed them to cross-over into the mainstream via Jonah Hex, Jack Black props and more, but I still prefer their musical side to the silly side of many of the videos and promotional campaigns. While it is interesting to hear straight drum beats from a band who got famous from songs that were practically all fills, and while the Queens of the Stone Age ambitions were always present (including Josh Homme guesting on classic “Colony of Birchmen”, the new and melodic hard rock direction of this single is still a bit of a shock. That said, it is a fun and rocking number. I just can’t help but miss the old days when there was no one who sounded like the onslaught you’d get from “Crusher Destroyer” or the psychic surge of recognition in the proggy landscapes of Crack the Skye. Let’s just say I prefer the chaotic ending of “Andromeda” to this number, but I do admire their urge to push their sound. [6/10]
  

Jordan Blum: As I said in my review of Emperor of Sand, this track is a very catchy and accessible rocker. Mastodon has been offering more radio-friendly tracks over the past few years, and this might be the best instance yet of how they can shed much of their in-your-face brutality for a more welcoming tone. Luckily, it also maintains some of the intricacies and hypnotic riffs that make the band so special. As for the video, it fits in well with Mastodon’s colorful, tongue-in-cheek persona. For such incredible musicians, they’ve never seem to take themselves too seriously, and this video—with its allusions to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey and Bergman’s The Seventh Seal—absolutely shows it. [8/10]

Steve Horowitz: Cool video! Glengarry Glen Death as the act of making a killing is taken literally in a cut-throat office where one has to meet the numbers. The song itself is somewhat generic. It sounds like many other metal tunes. But originality can be overrated. Just following the formula in music is a harder trick than it may seem. Mastodon may not be reinventing the wheel here, but they take one on a fun trip nonetheless. [7/10]

Mike Schiller: It’s not bad, and the video is entertaining in a low-budget retro kind of way, but “Show Yourself” is very unlike Mastodon in that it is so ordinary. It sounds a lot like a rock ‘n’ roll song you’d hear on the radio, something Josh Homme might be involved with, or maybe, say, a side project of the guitarist from Disturbed or something. The musicianship is there, complete with a killer solo and some fantastic drumming, but its vocal melodies are so lightweight and forgettable, they barely even exist. [5/10]

Paul Carr: On “Show Yourself, Mastodon do what they’ve always done, write riffs that you could have sworn have existed for years. Riffs that sound like they have been carved on stone tablets and passed down through the generations. However, that does not mean to undersell their talent for writing genuinely catchy, metal songs that possess a deep, ingrained understanding of how to write a powerful hook. That the band seems to be able to do it so effortlessly should not detract from the explosive power of the song. A band that should never be taken for granted. [9/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: Mastodon shows a lighter side on the catchy riffs of “Show Yourself”, a song that showcases great guitar technique but also serves as a decent earworm - and enlists the likes of Brian Posehn to make a darkly humorous video about an incompetent Grim Reaper who just can’t catch a break. It’s not Mastodon’s most complex work, but it’s a decent piece of hummable metal, and the video makes it an enjoyable enough romp. [6/10]

SCORE: 6.83

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