Review by Jason Guest
Instrumental music is always a challenge. Without vocals, bands have to work hard to retain the attention of their listeners; without song-like structures or even lead breaks, even more so. As beautiful as it is powerful, with this release, Mothertrucker need have no such concerns. It’s the bands that abandon such notions completely that are so much the more interesting for it. And with neither a wanker behind the mic stand nor a wanky lead break in sight, Mothertrucker are so very interesting.
Beginning gently with a clean guitar line, as opening track ‘Career Ender’ develops it’s clear that Mothertrucker’s palette is broad. With the subtlest of lightly pencilled nuances and the deepest of grooves scarred into the timeless substance spread out between us and them, they bring shape to the shapeless before tearing the whole edifice down and beginning all over again. Where ‘Reef Do All The Work, The Beatles Get All The Credit’ digs deep with its mighty chugging riffs and its hacksaw melodies cutting through the tracks heft, the head-down rhythm section urges us ever forward into off-beat rhythms and up into some off-world thick and heavy clouds. ‘Vigo The Carpathian’ has its fair share of surprises, if not in the jarring intro riff then in the densely layered riffs that tauntingly collide with one another as the track proceeds. Loud and heavy, ‘Duff McKagan’s Kagan Wagon’ blends the band’s post/stoner atmospheric density with a damaging dose of doom in preparation for the subdued and magnificent guitar-only ‘The Southern Teeth’. And as if to stir us from our hypnotic state, ‘Crypt Stalker’ slowly urges us back from the blissful state that the previous track left us back into the crushing riffs and leaden skies that hang heavily over the whole album.
Their bio states that “like an actual truck, Mothertrucker is big, heavy, but surprisingly complex and mechanical.” Yep, that sounds about right. This is colossal. Immense. Gargantuan. Crank the volume on this and it’ll be goodbye wall and hello unsuspecting-and-shell-shocked neighbours. But never mind; when they read the track titles of this mini-album, their rancour shall be subsumed by mirth. And when they hear the music, all will be forgiven and forgotten. I love happy endings.
8 out of 10
- Career Ender
- Reef Do All The Work, The Beatles Get All The Credit
- Vigo The Carpathian
- Duff McKagan’s Kagan Wagon
- The Southern Teeth
- Crypt Stalker