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The Integral


Mother of 6


MO6 Music

Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

Sometimes there's a thin line between likes and dislikes. I might have liked some of the early British rocks acts like Led Zep and Black Sabbath, but I couldn't abide the later 'metal' stuff that was so popular in the late 70s / early 80s. I might love those heavy guitars when they're in the hands of, say, Ministry, but I couldn't abide the plodding beats and naff imagery of Iron Maiden, Saxon, and all that other NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) nonsense. So when I heard that North Wales band Mother Of Six was described as 'metal', I really wasn't expecting them to be my cup of tea. Luckily I caught them performing an excellent semi-unplugged set last year and realised that this wasn't the case. The Integral backs this up. Sure it's heavy, but with the odd exception, this isn't 'metal'. This is British rock with touches of punk and psych about it.

The Integral opens with the title track, which with its dirty riffs and high pitched wailing, warms the listener up rather nicely. Kasper Hauser is next with its catchy "Wanna join the cavalry, letter in my hand" hookline sung over an almost Beatles-ish melody and Dave Of Six's sledgehammer guitars whilst a good old-fashioned tinny organ plays in the distance. Susan The Siren sounds like it's going to be some metallic riff fest when suddenly a minute and half in some Ozzie-like vocals enter and place things firmly in Sabbath Bloody Sabbath territory, though I should perhaps add that there are times when Kieran Of Six's vocal style seems to be as infused by John Lydon as any traditional rock singer. Grossberger, meanwhile, is chock full of punkoid guitars and much wailing, but there's melody here, too. That's also true of the next track, S, which has one of those choruses you wake up singing a few days later. Probably the highlight of the album for me.

Kat Knife with its neo-glam beat follows, whilst Das Boot marries a more metal sounding riff with a really nice chord progression. This one really is HEAVY before the guitars briefly fall away whereupon some rumbling bass and symphonic synths (from Neal Of Six and Terry Of Six respectively) hold things together before we get a guitar riffing duel. Home opens with a glam-ish beat, but with the tinkling effects over it, it comes on like a cross between Telstar and a very heavy Blockbuster. The vocals are more under-stated to start off with until Kieran really goes for it over a killer chorus that Sabbath would love to get their hands on, all augmented by some splendid ooohing in the background.

Sushi Please is more Nirvana-like before the album sort of ends with Artificial Apes, which feels like an instrumental kiss-off with its thunderous drum sound from, wait for it, Hoss Mandrill Of Six. I say "sort of ends" because then after the storm we get S (Acoustic), which in case you couldn't tell when you heard the full-on band version - demonstrates what a cracking song this is. "We go sailing over your border," Kieran sings, his voice cracking to good effect. Artificial Apes might have seemed like a logical place to end The Integral, but I for one am glad they tagged this on the end.

An impressive debut.

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