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MOTHERSHIP High Strangeness

By The Hermanator, Contributor
Thursday, April 6, 2017 @ 12:15 AM

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High Strangeness

Ripple Music

If you look up the band MOTHERSHIP on Facebook, you will see that they list the State of Texas as their hometown. That may seem like a big expectation for a band, but the Juett brothers (Kelley and Kyle) indeed seem to fit into that mold of bigger than life. If you were to catch them at a show, the music you hear would only seem to come from a band as big as Texas. MOTHERSHIP is making fans all over the State and all over the world. It is music that may transport you on a trip that some may say is other worldly. For many a critic, this experience from the live show has been hard to capture on CD or vinyl. But for many of these same critics, the release of the new CD High Strangeness on Ripple Music from MOTHERSHIP was a hope of capturing that “fix” you only get when you see the band live on stage.

As big as this expectation may be, the band falls just short of getting you that high on the new album. Don’t get me wrong, the music indeed is magical and it takes you on a musical magical ride, but it just seems lacking as you go through each song. Starting with the title track “High Strangeness” you are immediately drawn in by the fuzz of the bass line. The psychedelic ambiance of the song almost seems to transport you back to their very first song “Hallucination” from their debut CD. The phase shift in the guitar tracks create that ambiance of being transported on a ship. And as the song ends, you get a sense of getting that burst of breaking through on a bubble that only leaves you wanting more.

Going into the next song “Ride The Sun”, the band transforms itself into a more classic genre of rock n roll. With solid beats from Judge Smith, the song gets you moving and dancing once the guitar and bass start grooving. The vocals come in and this is where the song loses the magic. The band is in top form in playing their instruments, but the vocals are where the songs show the weakness of the band. Halfway into the song the band drives it up a notch and you immediately forget the singing. At the end of the solo you can almost envision Kelley and Kyle head banging along as they finish their solos.

Going into “Midnight Express” we have the promise of a powerful song with the drumming of Judge giving a brief intro into the song. Once the guitar and bass kick in that power just transforms and brings you that magic. In this song, the duel vocals work better and keeps that promise of power alive and kicking, but as we go into “Crown Of Lies”, again there seems a drop off in the vocals. The riffs are indeed strong in the song but you wish there wasn’t a tailing off in the vocals. And that was side A.

“Helter Skelter” starts set B. Once again you are introduced to the side with a fuzz tone intro with the guitar this time leading the way. This is a song that could have found itself on any other Stoner/Rock band. It gives you that feeling that CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, CLUTCH or WO FAT could easily add this to their set list. The guitars again blow you away. Bass flows beautifully and the drums are solid. Again, vocals seem to have been an afterthought. Maybe in this song it was a mastering problem. You can hear the words seem to tail off instead of just finishing strong. This may be the weakest vocal-wise on the whole CD.

Then we get hit with the best track on the album. “Eternal Trip” is just a guitar going through a journey. You can almost imagine that one solitary night the guitar got plugged in and this beautiful, mesmerizing instrumental came out as a result. This is just one man’s journey through a moment and it is captured for all eternity to share. The decision to just leave it a guitar track is brilliant. This is the song that should allow MOTHERSHIP to cross over into so many markets all over the world. If you ever wanted a song where you could just clear a room, hit the play button, sip your tea, smoke some herb while thinking on life, this is the song for you.

Then the last two songs! These did not have that fading of the vocals as the other songs on this CD and so I enjoyed them more. “Wise Men” is just a great arrangement that again affirms the band as a simple rock n roll band. And then the best for last! “Speed Dealer” is a great grunge song that will become a favorite for stoners and doom enthusiasts. I could not help but shake my head in time to the song. The guys on this song captured the essence of grunge and layered it out for you to grapple and move your necks.

Do I recommend this album? Yes, get High Strangeness and add it to your collection. It has some minor flaws that may have been mastering issues but the guitar work, drums and bass lines are brilliant. What this album does is make you want to see the band live. If what they did on this album is presented to you on a stage, I guarantee you that the “Mothership” will be transporting you to that higher plane of sweaty guitars, smoky rooms and plenty of cold beer drinking. Plain and simple, just another rock n roll night in Texas.

4.8 Out Of 5.0

Grab your copy of High Strangeness in the KNAC.COM More Store right HERE.

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