Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Unmothered - Unmothered EP
Scene: A small, sparsely populated lecture hall. The type of room you find at every college the world over. A frumpy looking administrator stands behind a podium in the center of a well-lit elevated platform. He looks non-enthusiastic.
"It is with a modicum of pleasure that I introduce our distinguished speaker for the evening...a, uh...someone who...well, he...oh the heck with it! I have absolutely no idea who this man is or what he is going to talk about. Please welcome...what's your name again?"
"Penfold? You can't be seri...you know what? I don't care. Please welcome Penfold."
Complete silence greets the new speaker as he walks to the podium.
"Hello everybody. As the beaten down shell of a man who introduced me mentioned, my name is Penfold. I was asked to come here today to give a lecture on new advancements in molecular science technology that no one in this room cares about. Let me see a show of hands. Who out there is here by choice?"
There is no movement from anyone in the audience.
"That's what I thought. Alright, then I've reached a decision. I'm not going to leave because I need the speaking fee to help pay off a miniscule percentage of my student loan debt, but I'm also not going to talk about some newly designed pipette. No, I'm going to talk about something I find interesting: gravitons."
A small voice is heard from the back of the room.
"What's a graviton?"
"A graviton, young lady, is a particle yet to be discovered that people like myself believe effects the force of gravity between objects. My apologies if that question was voiced by a dude. I can't see you under these lights and the voice sounded feminine."
Another voice breaks the silence.
"What's so special about gravitons? Don't we kind of understand gravity already?"
"The answer to that question is we don't really know. All we have are hypotheticals. I believe in gravitons like I believe in dark energy. My most radical thought on these particles is that they are unmothered. I believe that they existed at the awakening of the universe, that they are a spectre of the incredibly distant past, a trancendor that is fundamental to life as we know it today."
A snarky comment is thrown out by a young man slouching in his seat.
"That's great, but what about the second question?"
"There was no second question."
Slightly confused, the young man shifted to an almost upright position and persevered.
"Yes there was. That guy asked why you were talking about this at all since we already understand gravity perfectly well. What's the point?"
"I'm sorry. I didn't hear a word of that after 'yes there was'. You see, I have this bothersome filter in my brain that automatically tunes out idiots and their moronic babbling. Now, where was I? Ah yes, gravitons being unmothered!"
Greetings waveriders! Thanks for dropping by the site. I'm glad you're here. Today I am going to let you in a secret that the state of Texas, Austin specifically, is attempting to keep from you. You see Texas is such a big state, and the city of Austin houses so many bands per capita, that they thought they could hide the existence of this group from everyone else. Well I'm here to put an end to that nonsense! It's high time that all of you waveriders learned of Unmothered and their glorious self titled EP.
Unmothered, in case you skipped the introductory paragraph, call Austin, Texas home. How did I hear about them? Through blind luck that's how! Okay, maybe there was slightly less luck involved since I discovered them at the Ripple Music sponsored Metroplex HeavyFest III in Dallas, Texas. The thing is that when I ran down the list of bands performing at the festival with Racer and Pope, Unmothered was the one act that none of us had heard beforehand. They were a completely unknown entity, and they grabbed my attention before they played their first song.
If you're at all familiar with Ripple Music than you will have a pretty good idea about the type of bands who play at a Ripple Music sponsored event. We're talking about hard rock/heavy metal bands rooted in or directly inspired by the masters of the 1970s. Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, etc. So when on the second day of the festival I am sitting in the bar/lounge half of the venue and I hear a drummer laying down some sweet jazz fills for soundcheck my brain immediately goes on full alert and I start walking towards this mysterious noise that's not like the others. I planted myself in front of the bass player, a few feet from the stage, and waited. When the band laid into their first song, my head exploded.
Unmothered are a power trio that plays what they call (affectionately?) haunt rock. Haunt rock in my estimation is comprised of 1/3 sludge metal, 1/3 death metal, and 1/3 jazz/black metal/noise metal/stoner rock. This melting pot of sound is completely invigorating and one hundred percent intoxicating! Everything about their live performance worked for me. The enormous riffs, the menacing guitar and bass tones, the growled vocals, the musical intricacies within each song, the thunderously dexterous drumming. Look, I don't want to downplay the other two musicians contributions one iota, but that was the single most impressive jazz-based heavy metal drumming performance I have ever seen!
Now obviously, not everyone will have the opportunity to see this band live. At least not immediately. Have no fear however, because that is where their self-titled EP comes into play. My fellow music fanatics, you can each get your hands on a CD or vinyl copy of this EP and experience for yourselves the unbridled power inherent in Unmothered's work. All seven songs, from EP opener "Gravitons" to EP finale "Trancendor", will fill your metal loving heart with glee. You will also experience an unquenchable desire for more when the EP ends. I'm afraid this desire can only be tempered by hitting the play button to start the ride over again.
Waveriders, you need Unmothered in your musical lives. If you won't take my word for it perhaps you'll listen to Tim Wilson, bassist of the mighty Wo Fat, who was standing next to me for most of Unmothered's performance that fateful night. Seconds after Unmothered's set ended Tim turned to me and said, "Well that was impressive". Yes sir. Yes it was. You know what to do folks!