1. My enemy 2. Breaking free 3. Allright with me 4. Get it right 5. Black holes 6. It comes again 7. Payride 8. Dead end 9. F.U. forever 10. 1000 suns 11. On the outside 12. Be a god
Ever get that taken aback feeling when the music you sample is very different than what you expected? Then you find yourself smiling at how greatly it surpasses your initial anticipation? Mother Misery did just that to me.
Based on the dark, skull-emblazed cover for their new CD "grandiosity" and the fact that these guys--John Hermansen (vocals/guitars), Thomas Piehl (guitars), Örjan Baudin (bass), Jens Wide (drums)--are from Sweden, I expected a melodic death metal sound. My misconceptions were thrown aside by the fantastic hard rock on their debut. How did these Swedes get into this kind of sound?!
The 12 tracks on "grandiosity" don't get in your face and scream "pay attention and love me!!!" the way L.A. hard rock does, they just draw you in with an American Midwest attitude that invites you to climb in and ride along. With the fuzzy guitars of Monster Magnet, some Soundgarden inspired riffs and the spirit of Steppenwolf, it's an approach that is simplistic, yet entirely effective recalling the days before accountants ran the record companies, DJs played what they wanted and a good riff was all a song needed.
From the stuttering drums and the of the opener "My Enemy" to the closing distortion of "Be A God", each song is a laid back, muscle car, hemi-trip down the highway lookin for the devil's ass to kick. John Hermansen even sounds like he's from Detroit or St. Louis. Probably the only drawback I could write, is that some of the mid-paced numbers do tend to blend together like the choruses were reworded and reused, so a couple pedal-to-the-metal songs would have rounded it out more.
Mother Misery's debut is too cool; not trendy, mullethead-cool, but cool on it's own like a sunset ride in a '69 Pontiac Firebird.
Best songs: My Enemy, Allright With Me, It Comes Again, Dead end
Rating: 9 of 10
Note: After a couple of months of listening, I've decided to raise my score of this one from an 8.5 to a 9. Little nuances in the music--a background guitar lick or a vocal harmony--become appearent making it more enjoyable with each subsequent listen. They really know when and when not to play. Also, it's one of the few CDs I've heard for quite a while that feels like it has a philosophy behind it. I got from it--if you're not happy with where you're at in life, move on until you find what you want.
About this Writer: Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.
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