Mean Mother – Rock-N-Roll Shakedown …   Leave a comment

I listened to Mean Mother’s ‘Rock And Roll Shakedown’ several times and then thought I would put the review on hold just in case I found something a bit more deep and meaningful in their songs, either musically deep or lyrically. It didn’t happen and you know what, that means nothing at all because this band and album that is all about beer guzzling riffs and grooves and anything above that would take away from the good rocking fun this band and album projects. Mean Mother hail from Michigan and their premise is basically turn it up, sink a few brews and be as unpretentious as possible. There is many bands you could compare this band to and frankly I am feeling too tired to name them all but it doesn’t really matter at all anyway. The more obvious ones though are ‘Clutch, Black Sabbath, Blood Of The Sun and Motorhead and they certainly have that retro-riff rock style down to a fine art as well but it is mostly all about straight-forward old-school hard rock tunes.

The simple approach is a relief in many respects as even us hardened doom-metal freaks and fans of music with complex story-lines and musical structures need a no-bull album now and then. Music you don’t have to think too much about isn’t exactly as common as it used to be and bands obsessed with heavy subjects such as the ‘occult’ sometimes gets a bit, well…….’too heavy.’


So many tracks on this album scream out classic rock radio and I mean that in the nicest possible way, the songs are infectious, full of memorable riffs and vocal lines. The Obelisk  recently published their own review for ‘Rock-N-Roll Shakedown’ and there was one sentence that said it all – “There’s a reason it’s become the heavy rock formula over the last 40 years, and the reason is it sounds cool. Not a more accurate statement can be made when it comes to Mean Mother and the classic hard-rock formula. It is a style than can be tampered with but when that happens, it usually ends up an inferior product. This kind of classic rock is timeless, so don’t screw with it for best results.

Guitarists Roxy Vega and Cobra O’Kelly deliver back to back solid riffs, grooves and the solos from O’Kelly puts an instant grin on your face – yes you have heard it all before but they are so damn good, it makes for an instant party in your head. Bassist Clint Debone and drummer Bronco Johnson are also masters of their craft, locked into a constant groove supplying a flawless performance from the first track to last.  Songs like ‘Kill for the Thrill,’ ‘Easy Livin’ and ‘The Hustler’ provide instant highlights with their infectious 70’s worshipping riff-rock but when they break from the formula ever so slightly such as the shuffle that occurs in ‘You Don’t Have the Right’ it still has ‘quality kick-ass rock’ written all over it. The album is samey and there is no way to avoid to saying that. There is not much difference between any of the songs here and sometimes, it is easy to get one song confused with another. Despite all that, this album is so catchy that the 42 minutes of this disc is a pleasure cruise of vintage 70’s guitar rock. Think of the stream of classic guitar rock albums that came out 1974-1977 and this album would have easily fitted in, no problem.

So in conclusion, call it derivative, predictable or whatever you like but if you also have to call it professional and enjoyable. Buy it but don’t spin the disc till you have the barbecue happening and a few beers in the belly. The soundtrack for your next summer-party is here, this is a great no-frills, beer-drinking hard rock album that you wont be able to switch-off, impressive…..9/10

Mean Mother @ Facebook
Saw Her Ghost Records


Posted June 21, 2011 by doommantia in Mean Mother

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