Peyote Mothership - Transmission I (2007)
self-released promo & My-Space tracks (as of 4/07))

From Aural Innovations #36 (May 2007)

Peyote Mothership is a six-member space rock combo from Hertfordshire in England, a new and improving outfit that hopefully will be bursting onto the scene with some official CDs and festival performances in the upcoming year. They've sent out this 15-minute collage promo CDR entitled 'Transmission I' to anyone who will give a listen, and that's what we're here for. To be frank, most of the promo CDR is made up of a host of sound bites of synth noises, computerized-voice-overs, and a couple samples of the full band's music (rough recordings) spliced in here and there. But it's not a proper sampling of the fully-realized songs that the band now has in the works. However, it's easy enough to sample those too, as they've got four more tracks up on for anyone with internet access to check out. So I've decided to review those here as well, to get a proper perspective.

"Mothership Intro" is simply three minutes of synth noises and with female voice-over, as if doing starbase-to-spaceship comms., so it's not much more representative of the full band's music than the Transmission disc. But it's kinda cool anyway. "Mary Jane" is full-band psych-rock number, rather crudely recorded live somewhere (perhaps in a basement or rehearsal room), so it's not entirely fair to judge the group's merits under such primitive conditions. Co-lead singer Christina's vocals are so distorted here that I really can't hear the qualities of her voice. The rhythm section (Joel on bass and Jim on drums) seem to hold the piece together timing-wise, and so it seems that the band could definitely grow into something more than just a bunch of amateur freaks (not that there's anything wrong with that).

"JimJam2" is again a fairly rough recording of a space-rock number (instrumental but for some unintelligible chants/shout-outs in the distance) with a driving rhythm and lots of sonic swooshes and the occasional guitar lick here and there. Obviously a work in progress, but it's got a lot of promise. "Wide Eyes Open" is a little better recording (despite some moments of feedback), where we can actually hear the guitar in its full glory, a more deliberate space march with lots of cool spacey synths. Christina's singing comes through finally in the quieter parts, and she sings with a touch of grittiness that isn't such a bad thing really, and when necessary she can wail and belt out some lines that can still be heard even when the Mothership is maxing out the warpdrive.

In the end, these homemade demos are interesting enough that I can expect that a strong debut CD, when they get all these (and other) tracks tidied up and done professionally in a real studio environment. Analyzing the three rock tracks here, I find them reminiscent of Omnia Opera and other contemporaries of the late 80s/early 90s free-festival movement in the UK. It was kind of sad to see many of these bands break up or else morph into pure electronica, but now Omnia Opera and Nukli are back going again, and here's the Mothership also launching out of space dock. A good sign of things to come. So, these guys are definitely a band to check out in the future, and according to their webpage, they're booked for a space-rock show in Oxfordshire UK in October '07, so hopefully they'll be appearing soon at a venue near you.

Reviewed by Keith Henderson

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