Mother Misery – Standing Alone   Leave a comment

Scandinavia has been and is an incredible craddle or, I should say, boiling cauldron for heavy to extreme music.

Compared to other bigger and more crowded countries, the ratio of talented rockers and metallers to population, say in Sweden, may be so crazily high that those who don’t like heavy music may think that there’s a decade-long weird pestilence going on there …

Mother Misery is a rock/metal band from Sweden (Enköping) that has always represented a well-balanced mixture of the different “unholy” tunes coming from that part of Europe: heavy, dirty sounds and great melodies.

The rock terrorists giving fire to the powders are John Harmansen on vocals and guitar, Thomas Piehl on guitar, Stefan Hellström on bass (replacing Marcus Jäderholm in 2008) and Jimmy Lindbergh on drums.

Singer John Harmansen is a sort of trademark of this rock band as he graces the tunes with his impressive voice so close to and halfway between Dave Wyndorf’s and Chris Cornell’s.

I came to know Mother Misery about two years ago through their 2004 debut album Grandiosity and their other 2007 full-length “All Eyes On You”, and, as many other people, I got instantly conquered by their absolutely charming, electrifying, explosive, tight yet catchy style. I was liking their hybrid, multi-shade style variably, and sometime shamelessly but happily influenced by Soundgarden’s grunge, high energy rock’n’roll in the spirit of Scandinavian monsters like Hellacopters, Gluecifer or Turbonegro, and melody-drenched yet dirty tunes of genuine hard rock with a stoner edge so recalling later Monster Magnet poisoned by drops of Nebula. When dealing with Mother Misery, reviewers have often made comparisons with Audioslave, or better what Audioslave had the potential to be and unfortunately didn’t turn out. Well, the hard rock and stoner rock components in Mother Misery don’t need to be borrowed that much from the other side of the ocean as these sounds are in the air these guys are normally breathing up there and are actually essential parts of this band’s history. It may be enough to mention the fact that singer John Harmansen has been involved in that great act Stonewall Noise Orchestra and was in mighty The Awesome Machine.

Mother Misery’s releases burst with tunes that may not be tremendously innovative but that are ideal to have fun and are guaranteed to make great drunken party with. For me Mother Misery have always meant tight rhythms, charged riffs, great, full but abrasive vocals, a no-frills, in-your-face, dirty, catchy, testosterone-rich, alcohol-fueled raaaaawk impossible to resist.

I’m writing the above lines by using verbs in the past tense.

Mother Misery are back with their new album, Standing Alone, which was released during the end of October 2010/early November 2010 through Transubstans Records and Daredevil Records. I don’t like to listen tunes on MySpace but I was hooked by the aggressive outlook of Mother Misery’s page. So I went for the new record blindly through one of my usual CD pushers a few days after, because I was pleased to get some refreshing Swedish dirty raaaawk to dilute my album collection far too much dominated by gloom and doom.

Well, I must confess that thirst of mine for dirty raaaawk was not quenched enough by this last release.

The start of the album is very promising as is the sound in several occasions throughout the album, but I feel that the jolly aggression that I was so loving in the past releases gets often diluted in a blend of far too catchy and far too polished “modern metallic rock”.

Rocker Jochen Böllath, owner of the raaaaawking German label Daredevil Records, wrote very neatly that the 11 tracks of this new album (which are roughly a half of a set of new songs written by the band in these last years) are full of emotional moments and are “more straight and simple as the material on the 2007 record. The songs are more reduced to the minimum and go directly to your ears!”. Well, to me they sound a bit too simple, and sometimes excessively emotional if compared with the aggressive look that  the band adopts.

I had more or less the same reaction as with the latest release of some other great rock bands, like Backyard Babies for example: cool stuff for sure, especially if I compare with what is normally passed on most radios, but the distinctive, “primitive” rawness has been somehow set aside…

But don’t get me wrong, after all this is a cool “supersonic” rock album made by a masterful band whose members love their music and can play some cool heavy riffs and sing super. Melodies are really nice, extremely hooking and the sound is rendered through a stellar production.

I’m sure many people and rock addicts will be more than satisfied with it. I can see this happening while going through the excellent reviews and scores gained by this album on big rock magazines around the world (Rock Hard, Classic Rock magazine, Aaardschock) and the top rank position in the Swedish Hard Rock charts during November 2010.

The only problem is me, as I was expecting something else that I grasped and enjoyed thoroughly in MM’s previous releases: shameless, untidy raaaawk poisoned by drops of stoner rock, some more “underground” flavour.

But it’s always like this, you cannot make anyone happy…..7/10
Review Written By Mari                              

Mother Misery @ Myspace
Official Website
Transubstans.Com
Dare Devil Records

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Posted December 3, 2010 by doommantia in Mother Misery

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