Album Review: Mothership – High Strangeness

By Doug Walker

Mothership, the power trio from Texas, offers up their third record ‘High Strangeness’. Fans of psych metal who haven’t heard them yet would do well to check them out on this one. The first thought I had when listening through this was “Man… those guys have got to be stoked on how this came out.” The record is exceptionally well produced and mixed. It’s a fantastic balance of no-frills tracking and absolutely on-point balancing between the parts.

Bassist/vocalist Kyle Juett does a solid job holding down the rhythm with the drums while matching the guitar’s accents. The bass tone has just a little bit of overdrive to it, giving it a fuzzy edge… but none of the tone is lost whatsoever. A lot of bass players like to crank their overdrive, and they end up squaring off their tone and you miss a lot of nuance… and most importantly you don’t “feel” the bass. Not with this guy. He uses a tone that punches you right in the gut. It’s glorious. Vocally he takes you on an acid trip in one way or another on just about every song, with his brother Kelley Juett also contributing some vocals. The lyrics are delivered with a clarity and accuracy with just a little bit of growl behind them.

Judge Smith’s drumming is probably my favorite part of the record. He’s noodley but solid, which keeps it incredibly easy to follow. His choice of fills and accents is a perfect compliment to everything happening… and a busy drummer makes a three-piece sound fantastic. The drum tones are also magnificent. There’s not a whole lot of compression happening, so you get to hear the actual dynamics he’s putting into his playing. It’s still huge, but it sounds natural. On guitar, Kelley Juett does a great job of layering a solid wall of riffs with a sonic exploration of leads throughout the record. His tone is heavy, warm, and present.

Overall, it’s a great psych metal record. Probably one of the best produced ones I’ve heard in terms of getting a great feel for the style. In many ways, this record gave me a Fu Manchu if they listened to a lot more Pentagram vibe…which is exactly what you want to hear when you put on a psych record.

Rating: 9/10

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Record Label: Ripple Music
Release Date: March 17th 2017

Track Listing:
1. High Strangeness (3:06)
2. Ride the Sun (3:58)
3. Midnight Express (4:36)
4. Crown of Lies (5:50)
5. Helter Skelter (3:07)
6. Eternal Trip (3:48)
7. Wise Man (2:42)
8. Speed Dealer (6:33)

Total Duration: 33:40

Mothership links: website | facebook | twitter | instagram