Motherload grabbed the attention of discerning hard rock fans from their inception in 2011 and immediately set about spreading their brand of hard-hitting rock. Culminating in an appearance at Hard Rock Hell in 2012 they are hell bent on building on their success with their debut album ‘Black and Blue’. So with so much riding on it, what’s it actually like?
Kicking in with a lazily creamy guitar riff ‘Nothing’ opens the album and instantly gets the head nodding, always a good sign. This is followed by a catchy chorus and inevitable guitar solo that’s well-crafted if a little predictable – but whoever said that was a bad thing?
‘We Are The Authority’ breaks instantly demanding your attention with a faster, harder riff that at times harks back to the good old days of 80’s hard rock. The pace breaks about half way through the song before kicking back in with vengeance as a wrathful guitar solo shreds through your senses.
Track three ‘One Man Army’ is a heavy blues tinged anthem that catches you a little unawares after the fury of track two. Nevertheless Tom’s gruff vocals keep things in perspective – this is still a hard rock band and they mean business.
While continuing the Motherload sound ‘Derry Pope’, the album’s fourth track, manages to sound a little Pantera like, only if Gary Moore had a hand with the writing. That may sound strange but listen, it works!
‘Spitfire’ is back to straightforward riff-laden anthemic hard rock for track number five. Track six ‘On And On’ is a mid-paced grinder that draws similarity to bands like Saliva. Then track seven, ‘Deeper’ returns to what is starting to become a Motherload signature sound – hard, heavy riffs and AC/DC-esq crowd-pleasing choruses.
The southern rock-tinged track eight, ‘Beg For It’ is gains a little ‘GNR’ influence but does sound a little schizophrenic, like it’s the victim of too many influences. I’m not talking about the breakdown halfway through, because that works fine. It’s more the cluttered guitar work that throws too much at your ears to actively take in. It’s a harsh criticism to an otherwise ample song.
The penultimate track ‘Hang Your Head’ is another hard and heavy number that sounds like it could be another crowd favourite when played live. It sets us up nicely for the final track, the aptly named ‘Death Rattle’ which sees a southern rock themed acoustic intro turn into a fist pumping, head shakin’ monster that Zakk Wylde would be proud of.
Motherload have produced a well-rounded album that will certainly help move them further down the line. It’s not a perfect debut album and there are no tracks that really leap out and say ‘single’ but we’re rockers aren’t we? Who needs singles when you can press play and put a huge smile on your face as you let the Motherload riffs take over.
Black and Blue
02 We Are The Authority
03 One Man Army
04 Derry Pope
06 On And On
08 Beg For It
09 Hang Your Head
10 Death Rattle
Tom – Vocals
Oz – Guitar
DC – Bass
Effon – Drums