Not so sure about not giving this album a self title I would have plumped for ‘Bastard.’ Unmothered – Bastard would be a perfect combo. So what exactly have we got here then? Well this is the first release from a trio from Austin Texas and it is a self released album that’s just shy of half an hour. The artwork reminds me a bit of something I can’t quite put my finger on but it’s certainly eye catching and the music behind it is somewhat dense and almost as impenetrable as the thick morass of roots that are illustrated.
We start with ‘Gravitons’ and it is shaking the room, well I have got it turned up loud but the production is thick, bass heavy and booming but with plenty of emphasis on the sharp cymbal clatters. This is sludge like doom with big riffs and hoarse vocals and it is meant to make you tremble, no doubt in the live setting turned up to the max it is going to shake the rafters. The riffing is typical down tempo stuff not particularly complicated and it is a slight surprise when a scientific sample breaks up the flow. Battering back in like the weight of the universe this powers its way forth with some nice juddering and trembling guitar riffs at the backbone and some sledgehammer battering from the drummer. Grooving away it sets you up neatly for the rest of the album. Serial killer sample perhaps and sludge like Southern licks see in ‘The Awakening’, it could almost be Church Of Misery if the vocals were not so gruff. The power trio work well together and jam neatly in a cohesive fashion, instruments riding roughshod over each other on ‘Solstice.’ Are there going to be vocals on this track? Are they necessary? They roar in and you realise that although possibly not obligatory, they do compliment the instrumentation well.
‘Leviathan’ might be one of those ‘not again’ song titles but Unmothered put their stamp on it and make it suitably humungous in the sound stakes. An impetuous melody twists sinuously throughout and the thwack from the drums and chugging bass sound like lead weights dropped from a great height. It’s not the longest album in the world by any means but it makes up for this by battering you every inch of the way until the end and is the sort of disc that does its best to leave you black and blue.
Unmothered is a bastard of a debut and a good solid foundation to build upon from this young band.
(6/10 Pete Woods)