Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Album: Mother Mooch - Nocturnes

Mother Mooch Nocturnes Album

Mother Mooch - L.H.O.O.Q.

Info: Dublin fuzz rock band Mother Mooch release their debut album, Nocturnes, this Friday, with the launch night taking place the following night in Whelans of Wexford Street with a solid support line-up courtesy of Jem Mitchell and Slouch. Their sound has been likened to Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, PJ Harvey and "Alice in Chains with a female singer", with songs described as having "enough hooks to fill a fisherman’s basket" (Stonerking – Blog, UK). Taking their name from a misheard Black Sabbath lyric and their inspiration from a wide range of rock and punk acts from the 70's, through grunge, alternative and desert/stoner rock right up to the current heavy psyche scene.

Nocturnes opens with a whirlwind in the shape of 'This Tempest', a slow burning intro leading to a sudden inferno of rapid guitar riffs and drums before receding into a mighty fine guitar solo, already there are sketches of late 70's and 80's bands with Danzig ringing the bell mostly for me. 'Sinners' moves forward in time to newer sounds, singer Chloë Ní Dhúada's vocals a deeper toned mix of Patti Smith and the aforementioned PJ Harvey. The short but impactful 'My Song 21' (below) musically reaches Blue Öyster Cult and Deep Purple depths in its swagger and energy, of course you'd like it to go on longer but it also works well as a short burst of punk grounded rock. 

Mother Mooch - My Song 21

'Into The Water' is possibly the most distinctive track on Nocturnes in terms of nods to a particular era, and one that I could hear pointers to across most of the album, it's very Seattle grunge scene, the Temple of the Dog, Mother Love Bone and Pearl Jam trinity come to mind, it encapsulates the darker side of Mother Mooch nicely. But enough of the comparisons which are merely light-touch points of reference, the sound Mother Mooch have recreated stems from where each member of the band has come from and where they find themselves when these journeys are melded into one. 

Mother Mooch Nocturnes Whelans

The band have forged an identifiable sound of their own as a result, unleashed on one of my favourite tracks on the album, 'L.H.O.O.Q.' (top), a dizzying powerhouse of a track with great harmony interplay and a delicious opening guitar riff which echoes across the length of the song. From these head-spinning moments the ability to peel back gives Nocturnes a gratifying pace, 'Hive Mind' is sultry, black oil drips from everywhere, almost operatic in its range, the heavy guitars at the three minute mark appealing gleefully to this listeners inner rock demon. 

Mother Mooch are a rare breed among Irish bands in terms of the brand of rock they create, an island of proper hard rock in a sea of indie, folk and electronica, almost as rare as a Rory Gallagher cover, which is why I was delighted I got two for one! To hear my favourite artist covered, and covered well, on 'Out On The Western Plain' was a really nice surprise, and a suitable song title to describe what the Mooch are doing, flying the flag and bucking the trend, long may they continue to do so, and hopefully others will follow. 

You can pre-order Nocturnes at the Bandcamp link below.

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