Band: Mother Engine
Release Date: 22nd September, 2017
Label: Heavy Psych Sounds
Review by El
Ahhhh, concept albums. They can be a thing of real beauty, à la Alice Cooper’s ‘Welcome to my Nightmare’, or a disjointed effort similar to Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Imaginos’.
The album itself is the third offering from the Saxony based Psychedelic/Progressive Rock group, Mother Engine. Having had positive feedback from their previous efforts, they decided to feed upon this to try and reproduce some of the raw energy that their live performances give. Reading up, the album started off as the sound track to a fictive story of the same named spaceship and its crew. The story had previously gone that the good ship ‘Mother Engine’ had crash landed on a hostile world, hence the need for the rebuild that this album is meant to show. With this in mind, I set upon the album…
There are four songs on the album, with each song then split into its own sections. I was at first unsure quite what I would make of something that was potentially more complicated than a quick perusal of the track listing would indicate.
Despite some initial misgivings, the album actually fits quite well with the story it is trying to portray. It starts with an initial almost industrial sound, showing the physical rehaul of the ship’s shell, before moving on to the research, the development testing and finally the celebration of the completion of the project.
Musically, there is a lot of very rhythmic bass – an obvious staple of any band of the genre, with some interesting and melodic guitar overlays, whilst backed by an able and accomplished drummer, who manages to deal well with both the simpler and more complicated aspects of his duties. Despite the rhythm, it does not feel like you are hearing the same thing for the duration of the album, despite being instrumental only, after the singer left prior to their first release in 2012. There are distinct tracks – even so with the individual parts – which flow well, in a similar way to Nine Inch Nail’s Pretty Hate Machine. While you can tell when tracks are changing, the shift between is made to sound natural, like a progression rather than a track by track album.
While I have found myself wanting to compare this concept album to the likes of My Sleeping Karma, who perform in a similar manner, to an equally adept level, it is set slightly apart from them, with the actual continuity coming from the actual tracks, rather than the occasional interludes that MSK intersperse into their recordings to bridge any changes in sound.
(Editor’s note: the album was recorded by sound technician Marco Naumann, who also worked with MSK).
Instrumental prog/psych can be fairly hard to get into, and that does occasionally reflect in this album, but overall, if strikes me as a good effort, generally quite well worked, and certainly inkeeping with the story they are trying to tell. A valiant effort from these German guys, and an interesting addition to the collection of a fan of any similar bands.
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