Saturday, January 27, 2018

Mother Mars- On Lunar Highlands (Pepper Shaker Records PPRSKR009)

Mother Mars is an Aussie trio featuring the brothers Frank (Drums) and Paul (guitar, bass, piano, organ) Attard and Dave on vocals and harmonica. Some of you might know Paul from the amazing Frozen Planet1969.  This is the bands 10th release (see their bandcamp site) and a pretty cool one. The CD features 13 tracks in a bit over an hour and starts off with Wreckers Reunion Ball, a bass heavy rock and roll number with a bit of harmonica and dark vibe. Vocal is quite raw but a powerful voice is presented. Lost Planet Airman kicks in and has a totally different sound production that really takes you by surprise. This is a straight up rock and roll number with a great energy and catch piano line to compliment as well. A bit of harmonica for good measure as well.  Paul really holds back on the guitar compared to Frozen Planet and goes for more heavy riffing rather than solos like on these first two tracks.  Quite an AC/DC inspired track. Prior to Thought it best to cut you Loose, which is a mid paced nasty rocker, is a short 30 second Steel guitar piece. Now the track numbering on the CD is all fucked up. Anyway, track #4 Soap bar Pick up Joint, is now track 5 actually and a pretty cool instrumental track with some more intense guitar but also a raw and nasty sound. The Stalwarts of Saltwort Castle is a long track at 9:30. This is in the vein of BANG with a cool long instrumental jam section. The Working mind of the Creator is another instrumental with a sort of oriental string instrument and some strange sounds in the background. Around 2mins, the drums kick in to join the fun. Woodhollow Creek is nearly 13mins long with a lot of lyrics but a lot of time to sing them as well! It starts with just vocals and strummed guitar, where nearly the full story is told before the band kicks into the rock. This track also features a moog synth which gives this track a bit of a freaky and more psychedelic feel.  Around 7mins it becomes a lot like a stoner rock track with a very cool stoned vibe. Cool ending to this long track. Before Never Fail is another short steel guitar piece that is unlisted. This track is a sort of bluesy country twangy track with a dark spirit at times mixed with a happy one. Cool song and totally different. Bigger than Fear is a grooving rocker with a more straight power riff guitar and a nice solo. On Lunar Highlands starts off with a heavy riffing fast pace section and then goes into a Dazed and Confused like vibe for a bit. The Heavy Hand of the Destroyer starts with some psychedelic stuff with effects and guitar of some sort. Trippy stuff.  A quite diverse and interesting album, the first I have heard by this group. The CD comes in a very cool slipsleeve format with a small poster with the lyrics and song credits. Great artwork.

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