- Black vinyl $20
- High Strangeness
- Ride the Sun
- Midnight Express
- Crown of Lies
- Helter Skelter
- Eternal Trip
- Wise Man
- Speed Dealer
Release Date: March 17, 2017
Label: Heavy Psych Sounds Records
Right off the bat, Mothership’s third full-length album stands out for its shorter length compared to its two predecessors. High Strangeness is not only just a little over a half hour long total, but also features shorter song lengths on average compared to previous efforts. Even the psychedelic songs like the title track and “Eternal Trip” manage to be pretty self-contained. Thankfully, Mothership hasn’t gotten lazy; they’re just making their signature brand of heavy rock even tighter.
While Mothership’s style is on the weird spot of being too heavy for normal rock & roll but too chill for straight doom metal, there are plenty of identifiable traits at work. The power trio’s laid back attitude and intricate guitar playing recall Spirit Caravan and other Wino vehicles, while the overdriven guitar, bass heavy fuzz, and hazy yet melodic vocals bring to mind Monster Magnet. Comparisons can also be made to contemporaries like Foghound and Youngblood Supercult, but Mothership may have a slightly cleaner mix.
Mothership does stand out for their hooky songwriting, and High Strangeness is easily their catchiest album so far. The guitars and drums hit as hard as ever, but the way that the actual riffs and vocals are written ensures instant memorability. Simple vocal lines with intricate riffs weaving around them is certainly nothing new and more often results in diminished vocals, but the hooks on songs like “Crown of Lies” and “Helter Skelter” have a more symbiotic relationship than most.
Overall, Mothership’s third full-length album sees the band showing off their best elements and catchy songs in a nicely compact fashion. It’s not too different than their other albums but even if it’s not their strongest effort, its accessible songs may make it an excellent place to start for new fans. I’ll probably be grumpy about the band having been denied the chance to open for Metallica for a good while, but I take comfort in knowing that they’ll bring a fierce amount of power no matter where they end up.