“High Strangeness” is the third album by Texas heavy rockers Mothership and is to be released on March 17th, 2017. I had first heard Mothership back when I was affiliated with the sorely missed MHX Radio station when they had released their second album “II”. I was drawn in so much by how well these guys had their sound nailed down and just the groove every song had especially with the perfectly flowing solos and distorted bass and Bonham like drumming. These guys ever since have been on my radar and have been a favorite as well because of just how well they work as a three piece. Now with their third album just on the horizon lets see how well they do this time around.
1.High Strangeness- Opening with a very space rock instrumental with the bass coming in with an infectious yet soft riff and the guitars almost tapering off into space when they come in. It is like jamming while on a heavy acid trip and it really works. It really sets a tone and atmosphere that the band had managed to do on the last album but it feels bigger here.
2.Ride The Sun- And the band comes in with a heavy as hell rocker. This song sticks to a nice mid groove that has me tapping my foot all the way through. After the third listen that main riff has become ingrained in my brain. The verses although very simple are just dripping with that ZZ Top like groove all the way to the chorus. Even though the song has a lot of vintage influences to it, the band do somehow make it feel quite modern especially with the very nice production you can practically feel the fuzz oozing from Kelly’s cranked Orange amps into one of his best solo’s he’s ever recorded. This is a great fun groovy tune.
3.Midnight Express- Opening with some nice thumping drum rolls into a more doom-soaked riff, this song sticks more with the slow bashing tempo that the band does just as well as when they kick into overdrive. I love the vocals in that they still have that grungy dirty southern feel to them. This song is also catchy as hell and one of the heaviest on the album. I really dig when it speeds up toward the end with another grooving solo with the bass just going full assault in the background as well. Another total barn burner.
4.This tune has more of a mid tempo with the drums doing this sort of gallop at least in the beginning. There is also more of that heavy doom/stoner sound that dominates this song as well and it isn’t bad but it does have some interesting riffs around the mid mark of the song where it changes pace a bit and definitely adds more variety to the track that makes it another one of my favorites on the album as well.
5.Helter Skelter- The band pull some more up beat riffing off on this tune and the groove is just so freaking good. This is possibly my favorite tune on the album because it just sticks with me so much. The chorus is pretty damn catchy as well.
6.Eternal Trip- Now here’s something a bit different. This song is a lot softer and I think works very well because of that variety factor. It definitely has that spacey and beautiful atmosphere with the echoed and very shimmery guitars. There are some amazing melodic moments too and it is very welcomed for how well it is done.
7.Wise Man- After listening to the last track, this song sounds a lot more bombastic when it still sticks to the stoner metal formula. However, there is some really kick ass soloing in the song that I absolutely love. I really think this highlights Kelley’s capabilities as a guitarist and how well he really can play.
8.Speed Dealer- I love the riffing in this tune and it is another absolutely dirty rocker as well. The vocal deliveries are just as filthy as ever and some of my favorites on the album as well. It actually has more of a straight heavy blues feel to it that I love. The band really fires on all cylinders with this one giving a really heavy and bombastic end to a solid slab of stoner rock in 2017.
Overall, I give the album a very solid 8 out of 10. Mothership have brought that similar stoner metal vibe from their past two albums to this one but this one feels more on the spot especially with the more rocking songs. It just feels a lot more natural and the band really pulls together creating some very memorable jams as well as in cooperating some of those space rock and late 60’s rock sounds to make a really well done heavy rock album.