Instrumental music is a tough one to crack. With no vocals to rely on, instrumental musicians have to focus on making their music interesting enough to engage a listener and this means having melodies strong enough that they don’t need to be bolstered by a vocalist. Few get the balance right but every now and then a band comes along and gets it so right that you hardly notice their complete absence of vocalist. One such band are Birmingham’s post metal legends Mothertrucker who return with a 6 track mini album called ‘The Power of Independent Trucking’.
There’s a bizarrely humorous naming convention running throughout this release as the whole thing starts off with the slow burner ‘Career Ender’ which is nothing but a career ender. The song builds and builds with dramatic tension and is finally broken by the heavily distorted guitar work from Charles Butler and Chris Scrivens. These two men form the powerhouse of Mothertrucker’s sound as they effortless drift in and out of delicate, ambient melodies and monstrous, eardrum-bursting riffage.
The guitar work is tight and brilliantly structured throughout the entire release and the band never milk a riff for more than it’s worth. A great example of this comes on ‘Reef Do All the Work, The Beatles Get All the Credit’ (another fantastically daft song title). The song is constantly evolving and throwing even more melodies into the mix before it settles on one massive riff that carries the song to its close but not before the addition of a brilliant solo that adds a wonderfully ethereal quality to the band’s music.
Also impressing me is the sheer volume of influences that penetrate the band’s sound. You can hear elements of Kyuss, Sunwølf, Ancients and Cult of Luna seeping their way into everything Mothertrucker do and it makes for both a beautifully relaxing and punishing listening experience. You can really visualise yourself listening to ‘The Power of Independent Trucking’ as you take a long road trip through the Mojave Desert with the soft-top down. This record is giving me visions! Well, I think it’s the record…
Mothertrucker’s ‘The Power of Independent Trucking’ is a very special release that is equal parts post metal and sludge. It’s beautiful yet aggressive in equal measures and it does something a lot of instrumental music has a hard time with; it stays interesting. There’s not a dull moment on ‘The Power of Independent Trucking’ and you’d be a fool to miss this release.
Mothertrucker’s ‘The Power of Independent Trucking’ is released on 12″ vinyl through Speedowax, Field Records and Carnage Club on the 30th of September.