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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

LP Review: Live Over Freak Valley by Mothership

I had heard of Mothership but I had not seen them live so I was stoked to discover the boys from Texas were one of the opening bands for Corrosion of Conformity’s latest tour with Brant Bjork. Live Over Freak Valley was recorded at the band’s European debut in Germany and delivers the same level of intensity they brought to the Odeon in Cleveland, Ohio on an early winter night.

“Hallucination” and “Lunar Master” kick off the live record with a southern-fried bombast of blues-based fuzz. “Cosmic Rain” opens with a heavy riff reminiscent of some deep-fried ZZ Top swagger. The band goes space bass with “Tamu Massif,” an instrumental guaranteed to get your head nodding. “City of Nights” and “Win or Lose” have a distinct 70s-era KISS vibe that is both fresh and nostalgic.

From the band’s website (http://www.mothershiphaslanded.com):
“Supersonic intergalactic heavy rock trio Mothership based out of Dallas, Texas give a real sense of hope that all is well in the universe, and that pure honest rock and roll has once again returned to this planet on a mission to unite true believers. Consisting of brothers Kyle Juett on bass/lead vocals, Kelley Juett on guitar/vocals, and Judge Smith on drums, these guys have created a unique sound that satisfies like a steaming hot stew of UFO and Iron Maiden, blended with the southern swagger of Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top, paired with a deadly chalice of Black Sabbath.”

Having seen the band perform recently, I can honestly say I have a deep respect for Mothership. It’s not easy for a 3-piece to bring the same sonic quality to a live show as they do to a recording. You just can’t add an extra guitar or two unless you, well, use a backing track to add an extra guitar or two while performing live. And we don’t even need to say how disgusting that would be. Mothership relies on brothers Kyle and Kelley along with the Judge to bring all the thunder you’ll ever need in a live show. Live Over Freak Valley does the same and is the next best thing to seeing the band on a stage in your hometown.

I can honestly say that I’m not a huge fan of live recordings as the performances aren’t usually as clean and precise as the ones recorded in the studio. However, Live Over Freak Valley exceeded my expectations and I’m already checking to see when the Texans are crossing the Mason-Dixon Line again. Go get yer freak on, y’all.

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