Last week saw the release of a controversial new EP from Mastodon, the mathematically inclined metal/prog phenomenon that might the be most important rock band on the planet. Creatively titled Jonah Hex (Music From The Motion Picture), it’s instrumental music from a comic-book western movie that got terrible reviews, despite the presence of Transformers fox Megan Fox and a horse outfitted with two functioning Gatling guns.
Some Mastodon fans are giving the EP roughly the same marks that the movie is getting. Heavy-metal news site Metal Sucks, whose collective opinion is correct nine time out of ten, coined the phrase “Mehstodon.” The EP isn’t that bad — depending what you’re expecting.
A full-on Mastodon album it is not. Again, it’s an instrumental EP of score music from a movie. The songs aren’t full-developed ragers like… well, name pretty much any one of your favorite songs by the band. It has six tracks that last a grand total of half an hour… if you include two alternate versions of songs, which account for the final 12 minutes. “Indian Theme” has a gnarly groove, and it’s probably the only song that’ll leave you feeling satisfied if you want something like “Oblivion.”
But if you can listen to Mastodon’s chill or instrumental jams like “Hears Alive” or “Elephant Man,” endlessly, the Hex EP is great background music, and it’s worth the four bucks it costs at the iTunes store. —D.X. Ferris