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Mother's Green - "Swimming In The Sun" (CD)

Mother's Green - "Swimming In The Sun" CD cover image

"Swimming In The Sun" track listing:

1. Swimming In The Sun (5:27)
2. Observation For The Day (4:00)
3. Catching Existence (2:49)
4. A Night In Complete Awe (5:09)
5. Conscious Of The Free Side (3:57)
6. Just Another (3:40)
7. The Antidote (4:50)
8. A Close Encounter (2:51)
9. Checking Point (3:52)
10. Tattoos Leave Scars (Bonus Track) (4:19)

Reviewed by on March 29, 2012

"'Swimming In The Sun' has its high moments, but doesn’t seem as focused as it could be, with not much worth going back to."

Mother’s Green is a Canadian band with a stoner rock sound that comes off like Soundgarden after a drug-induced writing session, in which they found a set of congas in the studio to pound on. That is not a joke either; percussion is integral to each song on “Swimming In The Sun.” Self-funded and released, the band is doing their best to gain the admiration of an audience outside their home country. “Swimming In The Sun” has its high moments, but doesn’t seem as focused as it could be, with not much worth going back to.

The title track and “Observation For The Day” are situated with a grudge-meets-stoner rock chemistry coming from the fuzzy riffs and congas accelerating the pace up. The band capitalizes on these instances, keeping the grip tight on the proceedings, and injecting a vial of adrenaline that spurts the album to life. Upbeat tempos give these songs, as well as most of the album, a breezy tone perfect for laying back and relaxing to.

Nothing wrong with kicking the shoes off and lounging to an album, but it becomes a hassle when the songs range from enjoyable to boring. “Catching Existence” is light and poppy, a bland short tune that seems nothing more than a placeholder to the powerhouse “A Night In Complete Awe,” with its hard-to-ignore chorus and iron-fisted heaviness in the closing minute. The filler comes out near the end, with “Just Another” and “Checking Point.” Not even some decent guitar work can sew back these songs as they get shredded to pieces.

A brief foray into jazzy melodies on “A Close Encounter” generates a spark of interest in the album. A wild organ solo near the end is a jolting surprise, which is an emotion lacking for the most part on “Swimming In The Sun.” An acoustic bonus track, “Tattoos Leave Scars,” strips down the band and gives the percussion and vocals lead roles. The vocals are eerily reminiscent of Chris Cornell in a few songs, though it’s not just a copycat performance.

“Swimming In The Sun” may not the outright stunner Mother’s Green was hoping for, but it could win over a tiny following. The band does their fair share of work to relate to fans of music from the ‘90s to the present day. The percussion is far from distracting, acting as just another instrument instead of a specialty item. Recording without a label can be a challenge, even more so with an album that just grazes above average quality. Mother’s Green won’t be on the headlines of any big-name magazines with “Swimming In The Sea,” but they have the basics down to make that possibly happen a few albums from now.

Highs: Percussion adds a lot to the music, a few surprises jolt the album back to life, does well with the grungy/stoner rock sound

Lows: A few dull tunes, not as focused as it should be at times, vocals are uneven

Bottom line: A decent sophomore album with a grunge-meets-stoner rock sound that offers little in the way of surprises.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)