Mammoth Penguins - There's No Fight We Can't Both Win [12"/CD]

Artist: Mammoth Penguins
Title: There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win
Format: 12” LP on yellow vinyl / digipack CD
Cat#: Fika070
Release date: 26th April 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Following a sold out London show with Swearin’, Cambridge indie pop trio Mammoth Penguins are delighted to announce that they have signed to Fika Recordings and that their third album, There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, will be released on 26th April 2019.

Mammoth Penguins are a 3-piece indie pop powerhouse, showcasing the songwriting and vocal talents of Emma Kupa (Standard Fare, The Hayman Kupa Band) backed up by the noisiest rhythm section in indie pop.

Their first album, Hide and Seek, was released with the much-loved and sorely missed Fortuna Pop! in 2015. Stand-out tracks ‘Strength In My Legs’ and ‘When I Was Your Age’ were picked up by BBC 6Music and Radio X, and the band played a live session for Marc Riley the following year.

But Mammoth Penguins didn’t want to stop there.  Their follow-up release John Doe in 2017 was an ambitious concept album, exploring the feelings of loss and anger at a man who fakes his own death, only to return years later. It featured contributions from Haiku Salut’s Sophie Barkerwood and Alto 45’s Joe Bear, and expanded well beyond the 3-piece rock‘n’roll template, with washes of strings, synths and samples (field recordings of butter being scraped on toast, photocopiers, and Ramsgate beach helping to fully immerse the listener in the world the band have created) filling out and developing Kupa’s songwriting.

Having had their ‘and now for something completely different’ moment, the band have brought that ambition and expanded palette to the production of this new release. The sound is big, bold and confident—with layers of guitars, backing vocals and keys all adding extra muscle—but maintaining Kupa’s candid, heartfelt, confessional style of songwriting, and the jubilant power pop hooks that made the first record so special.  

As with many songwriters, Kupa’s songs are derived mostly from her own personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings, be they long-lived or fleeting. “The times when people have said my lyrics resonate with them or articulate something specific for them are extremely validating for me and I hope that happens with this album,” she explains of the new record.

“Arranging the songs with Mark and Tom is a massive buzz and playing them live as a band feels so exciting. Having Joe and Faith put their mark on the album was also a massive privilege. Making a record can be an extremely slow and drawn out process that requires patience, perseverance and resilience, and because of that we are super excited and proud to be releasing this album.”

This time around, classic themes of love, loss and conflict are (mostly) given a hopeful and optimistic spin that opposition is neither inevitable nor hopeless. For musical comparisons, think Land of Talk, and Philadelphia bands such as Swearin and Hop Along, but Kupa’s insight into the everyday and her ability to pen such relatable and honest missives means that, often, the best comparison for Mammoth Penguins’ music is with your own past.

Press for There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win

“Standard Fare were never what I’d call twee, they were firmly in the indiepop scene and, even though Mammoth Penguins is a much more twee name, there is more oomph in the performances and arrangements, which makes for a nice mix of brawn, brains and heart. Speaking of, Emma’s heart remains on her sleeve, and her voice — both strong and vulnerable — conveys all the yearning and regret found in her lyrics. And the songs, like “I Wanna” — with its chorus of “I love you, I love you, I love you / Fuck it all, fuck it all, fuck it all” — are eminently relatable earworms.” Brooklyn Vegan

“[Kupa] has an unerring eye for the foibles of modern romance and details the mechanics of love and loss as well as anyone since the Wedding Present's David Gedge, only with a more sensitive touch. There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win is one of the finest examples of simple and true indie rock around” All Music [8/10]

There Is No Fight We Can't Both Win is another great collection of universally empathetic songs from a great songwriter that really ought to get a hearing beyond the indie world that is its home” Backseat Mafia [8.5/10]

“one of several moments on the album that remind me of their former Fortuna POP! label mate Steven Adams, and where this type of thing is concerned that’s about the highest praise I have to offer anybody. There’s No Fight We Both Can’t Win – smart, melodic, indie pop/punk about the trials of love and friendship, it’s a great record if you like that sort of thing.” Echoes and Dust

“Mammoth Penguins clutch memorable melodies out of seemingly fresh air. They have a very standard guitar, bass, drums set up which lacks somewhat in colour but the simplicity is used to create naggingly familiar hooks” Norman Records [8/10]

“for indie-pop overflowing with heart and replete with an oft-excellent command of melody, There’s No Fight…  delivers in spades” The Soundboard [7/10]

“Mammoth Penguins have come on in leaps and bounds here. This is simply a great album” God Is In The TV [8/10]

“Over the course of this album, Mammoth Penguins again show that they have the ability to create delightful pop music, much in the style as bands like The Pastels - I Wanna and Put It All On You - being prime examples” Even The Stars

“The 11 songs on There’s No Fight We Both Can’t Win revolves around the theme of love and relationships but Mammoth Penguins manage to avoid the album feeling stale. The band accomplish this by writing tunes you can really lose yourself to, lyrics that you can let wash over you and moments that just really engage you” Rush on Rock

“Heartfelt and honest...there's an attitude here that many similar bands are lacking in” Distorted Sound

“While there are some definite pop rocking numbers, my early time with the LP has me falling for “There is So Much More;” it’s a really soft tune, giving the album some diversity so it doesn’t wear on you…not to mention there’s no such thing as a bad Kupa performance” Austin Town Hall

“From the moment I heard Emma Kupa sing ‘I love you, I love you, I love you, fuck it all, fuck it all, fuck it all’ on ‘I Wanna’… I couldn’t help but become a Mammoth Penguins fanboy” Balloon Machine [track by track preview]

“an awesome pop record” One Chord