There's been a lot of expectation surrounding the release of Dallas stonernauts Mothership's new album especially after the release of the trio's storming 2016 live release " Live Over Freak Valley" (Ripple Music), a tour-de force of thundering stoner/hard rock perfectly executed in a live environment. The trouble with expectation is there is always a chance of disappointment when the long awaited product finally arrives, luckily this is not the case with the bands third album "High Strangeness"(Heavy Psych Sounds Europe/ Ripple Music USA).
Kicking off with title track "High Strangeness", a delightful instrumental underpinned by a hazy psychedelic drum and bass groove, perfectly executed by Judge Smith (drums) and
Next up is "Ride The Sun" a song that sees Mothership hitting a more familiar stoner/hard rock groove replete with hard driving rhythmic pulses that push the guitarist to match them with swathes of crunching riffage and searing fretwork. Vocals are delivered over this maelstrom of riff'n'rhythm clean, melodic and clear, a perfect foil for the raucousness beneath them.
A touch of darkness creeps into the equation with next track "Midnight Express" and sees the band hitting a heavier doom tinted groove with the two Juett's trading vocal licks on the verses and harmonising on the catchy sing-a-long chorus.
"Crown of Lies" continues the darker vibe of the previous track but this time mixes in a little heavy metal swagger into the proceedings with Kyle Juett's clean slightly snarled vocals and Maiden-esque galloping bass lines combining with Smith's tumultuous array of pounding percussion to create a base for Kelley Juett to launch into finger burning guitar solo's.
Mothership move the listener away from the dark recesses of the previous two tracks and into the bright sunlit landscapes of the desert with next track "Helter Skelter". a heavily fuzzed Kyuss- like groove that'll have moshpits at all their future gigs going absolutely apeshit!
"Eternal Trip" takes a left turn into ambiance with Kelley Juett laying soaring Gilmour-esque guitar colouring over a backdrop of gently picked arpeggios, serene and soothing.
"Wise Man" jams a chugging hard/stoner rock groove beneath lyrics that tell of regret and a life misspent, although probably the weakest track on the album it has its moments and well deserves it place.
"Speed Dealer" sees guitarist Kelley Juett take over lead vocal duties and blends the spirits of AC/DC and Motorhead in a song that pulls all the threads of the blues, hard rock and metal together to deliver a masterclass in raw rock'n'roll.
If you were one of those getting a little twitchy with anticipation for this release then fear not "High Strangeness" delivers everything you would expect from a Mothership album and whole lot more
Check it out.....