Editor's Rating

Have a listen to 'Tokamak'

Rating out of 10

Mother Engine – Hangar

Release Date: 30th September 2017
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hangar/id1287460495

Mother Engine are an instrumental four piece band, with influences spanning psychedelic rock heroes and New Jersey natives Atomic Bitchwax, to their German contemporaries Colour Haze. On their third album, Mother Engine strive to marry their live energy with their studio recordings in an ambitious move to make their most impactful record yet.

The album opens with ‘Prototyp’ and uses a fine collection of samples simulating a station hangar or terminal, setting the stage conceptually for the music without the needs for lyrics and vocals. The ominous bass line that kicks the music off lays an effective riff for the noisy, phaser laden guitars to revolve around for it’s hefty 18:23” runtime.

By the end of the second track ‘Biospirit’, the runtime of this record already exceeds an average band’s full LP, with some well thought out transitions and structures, from the ambient intro to its choppy progressive sections and not to forget the explosive hard rock in the songs closing chapter. Although it is missing some hooks and melody to keep you engaged the band do a great job of bringing everything full circle, with the core riff never straying too far away regardless of which direction the song takes.

‘Tokamak’ remains the standout song on the album for me. The chord progression around the 10 minute mark offers more drama and intensity than any other point on the record, add to that more melody and soloing, this would be the track that makes me want to revisit the album. Album closer ‘Weihe/Leerlauf’ certainly closes the album a tad heavier than it began, with some interesting rhythms and melodies throughout, chopping and changing through different tempos in parts of the song. It keeps you guessing as to what will come next, but ultimately I end up a little bored after a couple of minutes of this, but it all pays off for the closing 5 minutes of the song and the album.

A solid effort by this German group. I’ll definitely be checking out the two previous albums in their back catalog. This album has been an interesting listen, Mother Engine are a band i’ll be keeping a close eye on, because as interesting as this album was I don’t know if and when I’ll revisit it. I think they’ve got some potential to make something really special and memorable, it’s abundantly clear these guys have a wealth of talent. I just don’t think this is their defining record yet, but well worth the time of any fan of progressive, stoner and psychedelic rock.

For fans of: Atomic Bitchwax, Color Haze

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