Riffs, solos and a trio. Come on, what’s not to like?
When the front cover is the one above – a glamorous looking naked woman with a lion at her feet – and the band says this about their record: “Our third offering is fuelled by the same supersonic intergalactic heavy rock and roll music that has brought us together today.” Then you don’t really need MV or anyone else to elucidate on proceedings much further.
Add in the fact there’s three of ‘em and further invoke the rule that three piece bands rule every damn time. Spice this up with the fact that the god like Tony Reed (he was in Stone Axe and not content with that he’s also in Mos Generator) masters the thing and this makes for the easiest review you’ll write all year.
It’s as simple as this: do you like riffs and classic sounding timeless rock n roll? Well, brothers and sisters, if you do, you’ll absolutely love Mothership.
First coming to real attention a couple of years ago with their wonderful “Live At Freak Valley” record, the Dallas natives come chugging out of, well, who knows, to head off to, well who knows that too. But wherever they’re going it rules.
Such fans if the riff are the trio that there’s not one but two instrumental’s here. “High Strangeness” the title track which kicks us off on this journey, is one and it carries on as if hopping between worlds is an everyday occurrence. Kelley Juett, a man of huge beard and bigger guitar skills, is at his dreamiest here.
“Ride The Sun” pounds and thumps, and features a dirty bass groove from the other Juett here, Kyle, and “Midnight Express” finds drummer Judge Smith his most primal. The latter knows its way around the Sabbath catalogue, but finds a way to do it with some southern rock swagger. That almost sums the band up.
Admirably, whereas much music of this particular ilk doesn’t understand brevity, Mothership do. The result is that when they kick in, they really do and where most bands would stretch out “Crown Of Lies” out for about 25 minutes, then these boys get it done in three – and it still crushes all in its path.
“Helter Skelter” gets bonus points for two things. First, it is biker rock of the very highest order, and second it isn’t a cover of The Beatles, its follow up “Eternal Trip” gets bonus points for being a genuine left turn and it is as gentle and shimmering as a summer breeze.
Largely though, this sounds exactly like you want it to. “Wise Man” hums and pummels, and “Speed Dealer” is perhaps the best thing here. Sort of like it would have sounded if Motorhead had been a desert rock band instead of speed freaks, it ends with what would have been called a three minute freak out in the 1970s. Such a phrase still seems apt now.
You can imagine that Mothership’s natural habitat is the stage. These sounds will sound incredible in some dingy club – mind you they sound pretty damn fine now.
All aboard, cos this is about ready for take off and it’s close to being out of this world.