Released: 2013, Field/Speedowax/Carnage Club (Joint Release)
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
This six track, purely instrumental release is the latest offering from experimental psychedelic metal band, MOTHERTRUCKER. The bio describes ‘The Power of Independent Trucking’ as a “…30 minute hellride into the heart of sweet oblivion…” and that is indeed true. Only not in the way it was meant. There may be only six songs on the release, but to me that was six songs too many.
I should make it clear from the off that I take absolutely no pleasure in writing these words. I want an album I review to grab me, challenge me and really take you down a journey. But I’m afraid the only thing this album did was annoy me. There was no journey as neither the album nor the individual songs seem to go anywhere and the only challenge I found was to keep listening.
The other word that comes to mind is loops, in that this appears to make up the majority of their musical writing, as each songs has (though of differing length)relatively short loops of melodies/rhythm for the guitars, bass line and drums. Which are well, looped, over and over again. They are varied by the throwing in of clashing and sometimes psychedelic influences, as well as amping up the volume to create the illusions of build and meaning. But at the end of the day, it’s still looping. It also adds to the feel that the songs aren’t going anywhere (listen to ‘The Southern Teeth’) as, though there are clear section to the songs, they don’t bring any kind of structure or ‘story’ to the songs. They feel like one long guitar line, though where that is going no one knows.
Breaks are used in several songs (predictably so after you have listened to a couple of songs) but these are absolute breaks, filled with buzzing, lingering notes and feedback, sometimes for a minute before the song picks up again. You can hear this the most during ‘Duff McKagan's Kagan Wagon’ at 2.20 minutes and again at 5.45 minutes until the end. This begins also at about 4.20 minutes in the ‘Crypt Stalker’ where one note is played on repeat as the guitar is played firmly with the drums joining in only on the note. This continues for about 40 seconds till it moves back to buzzing, feedback sounding note that remains until the end of the track.
The bio also says “…Thick dirty distortion, menacing atmospherics, head nodding tempo changes, rewarding climaxes...this release has it all!!...” No...no it really doesn’t. The distortion sounds tin-like, there are atmospheric sounds true, but menacing? Not in the slightest. There are tempo changes, but overall nothing much changes in this album; it doesn’t really have highs or lows. Which brings me to the climaxes…..there just aren’t any! ‘Vigo the Carpathian’ brings a jazzy, psychedelic sound to the release more clearly with the offbeat guitars, but again it’s nothing challenging and sounds a bit like a gentle jazz jam session.
If you’re into your experimental psychedelic metal then give this a try, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Review by Rowena Lamb