When Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor told me earlier this year that the band was juggling who they wanted to produce their fifth full-length, I'll admit that I never thought they'd land on Mike Elizondo. It's not so much that I thought Elizondo incapable -- he's shocked with his propensity for variety, working with Eminem to Avenged Sevenfold to Fiona Apple. I thought of Dillinger collaborator Steve Evetts, or someone purely from the Hydra Head camp.
Elizondo's been a good fit so far, if new track "Black Tongue" is any testament.
The track is the first to arrive in full from "The Hunter," newly announced to arrive on Sept. 27. The tracklist to the set hasn't been finalized, but the first single has been confirmed, "Curl of the Burl," and fans who pre-order the fancy deluxe version of "The Hunter" will soon have first dibs on a digital download of it.
But "Black Tongue" is a also a pretty good gimme. The band's typical psych-reverb wash and barrage of double-bass has a killer pop to the rest of the kit, and the early key change to that shiny melody gives it enough build for a three-and-a-half-minute shortie.
The lyrics are particularly beastly, undoubtedly influenced by inspiration behind "The Hunter's" album artwork (or vice-versa?). The woodcut sculpture from folk artist AJ Fosik is being built in the video: a ferocious bull with multiple mouths, dozens of teeth and red horns. An animal so typically hunted seems to have something to say back at his predator.
Mastodon has also recently contributed a previously unreleased track to Adult Swim's newly bowed Singles Club. Check out "Deathbound" -- recorded during 2009's "Crack the Skye" sessions -- here. Other artists include today's contributor Clams Casino, one of my 2010 singles favorites Tallest Man on Earth and The Rapture.