Album Review: The Mothers Earth Experiment – Self Titled

The Mothers Earth Experiment

West Midlands’ The Mothers Earth Experiment’s debut EP Don’t Speak Against the Sun (2015) impressed many with its dynamic sprawl of sound firmly rooted in the sounds of the past.

Their self-titled debut has maintained the psychedelic rock influences and enhanced them with a modern pop sensibility, expanding it with prog rock and jazz influences.

You sense that this group has been cultivating their intelligent and complex sound for years before committing it to record, yet it’s evident that they are unafraid to experiment. Album opener “Cool Down Mama” is a funky styled track that has a big band quality to it. The song is somewhat a marker for the rest of the album, it grows in strength and intensity as it goes on, and dips in and out of a wall of sound, managing to change tempos fluidly and impressively.

The Mothers Earth Experiment album artThe Mothers Earth Experiment‘s more experimental, prog side comes through on songs like “Talos.” Guitarists’ delivery is especially direct here; the groove and pounding drums give the song a real up-tempo feel that is infectious.

The album’s best track is arguably “Quietus.” It features great instrumental work which is mostly carried with the sound of organ courtesy of James Baker.  The musicianship here is intricate, vocals are soaring and the overall dynamic of the song is in constant motion. The second part of the song in particular is when the band embrace sort of a free-form approach in composition and delivery. The prog-jazz noodling with its laid-back style gives the tune a pleasant turn.

“Trust Me” is huge and has a classical ‘70s sound that is swamped by the jazzy overtones in a perplexing but pleasing way. “Elbow Room” kicks off in a similar fashion as the song that precedes it, but over its almost nine minutes, it shapes up to be one of the record’s highlights, along with “Quietus.” The ethereal wall of sound built from the crystal clear piano motif and warm guitar licks is what makes this song stands out. With another song clocking around nine-mute mark, “Mono No Aware,” The Mothers Earth Experiment bring their self-titled full-length debut to the finish line, allowing for a bit more of experimentation at the very end. The song sort of reminds me of psyched-out Jeff Beckley, it reaches its climaxes and nadirs gradually, ensuring the album ends on a statement of intent.

The Mothers Earth Experiment is an album that is made for fans of musical history. It contains a huge amount of influences and isn’t shy about experimenting. This is progressive music that happily references the past.

The Mothers Earth Experiment is out on May 19th via Swordfish Records, and is available as CD, vinyl and digital download.

Tracklist:

01. Cool Down Mama
02. Talos
03. Quietus
04. Trust Me
05. Elbow Room
06. Mono No Aware

Line-up:

* James Baker – keys, vocals
* Jake Clarke – bass
* Reece Greenfield – drums, vocals
* Oliver Overton – percussion
* Mark Roberts – guitars, vocals
* Jackson Younger – guitars

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