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Mothership - II

Label: Ripple Music
Format: CD download
Released: 2014
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 8/ 10


Sophomore effort from Dallas based trio who have been called a mix of early 80s English metal and Southern Rock. In fact, it's a hypnotic mix of classic blues-based, hard rock sounds, swirling in an undoubtedly narcotic haze. Although no keyboards are credited, the opening ‘Celestial Prophet’ is an instrumental ride, leading into the lazy paced, bass rumbling single, ‘Priestess Of The Moon’. The vocals are clean and laid back, almost spoken, rather than sung. At times it reminds me of the similarly interstellar obsessed Blue Oyster Cult. Unlike stoner outfits, the songs tend to be concise, with only two of this dozen stretching beyond six minutes. ‘Shanghai Surprise’ is the first to get the toes tapping and heads bobbing, like a more rocking Kyuss, if you ask me. Rather than drawn out, space jams (OK, there's one instrumental: ‘Tamu Massif’), Mothership infuse a healthy dose of melody within the underlying drudgery. Witness ‘Holy Massacre’.

 

‘Hot Smoke And Heavy Blues’, complete with repeated ride cymbal, is an aggressive, old school rocker: plenty of reverb, wah wah pedal and feedback. The lengthy (7:25) ‘Serpent Throne’ changes tempo a couple of times, ultimately a tasty combination of driving guitar, bass and a repetitive drum beat that includes the jangle of loose hi-hat. The closing ‘Good Morning Little School Girl’ is a cover, dating back as early as 1937, but has been covered by all the great bluesmen (Johnny Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter) , as well as the British Invasion artists/acts who were inspired by them: Yardbirds, Ten Years After, Rod Stewart, Paul Rodgers, etc. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blues!

 
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