OXFORD WHEATSHEAF, August 27, 2015
Funny how some gigs just feel like home. Last week, Steve Harris was at the O2 with British Lion – upstairs, no less – so when a metal legend is that close, you gotta go. MAIDEN: the Iron One. No wonder it was packed, and yet for all the musicianship and energy and sweat and conviction of the Lions, not to mention the bass-gun pointing from ‘arris (classic), their anthemic mid-tempo Maiden-lite didn’t really roar …. solid enough but kinda careful. Made me want to dig out some Maiden proper.
Tonight in the Wheatsheaf, though, is a different kettle of scaley ones. I know next to nowt about Morass of Molasses or Mother Corona EXCEPT for the promise of heavy stoner action from Reading and Didcot respectively, so I am completely in their hands – and they abso-fucking-lutely deliver.
Morass of Molasses: mid-tempo, bottom-heavy rifferama, lifted by spacious bluesy flow. GO SEE THIS BAND. They’ve got an EP out called So Flows Our Fate and the only downer is that it’s only four songs long (apols for buying CD not vinyl after the gig, Morass fellas. Mr Bones tried his best).
Mother Corona, another trio, rock a similar path except they do it with a drummer vocalist and – if my eyes ain’t doing porky lies – a bassist with five strings. Oh, and the World’s Biggest Mother Corona Fan is on stage at all times ‘coz no.1 fanboy seems to be their very own guitarist Lee, who can’t help showing his big big love for what songwriter Dave (drums/vox) pulls together:
“Dave writes the songs, it’s awesome, he’s … a prick!”
“I am,” agrees Dave.
Can’t possibly comment on a stranger’s prick-or-not status, but what we can comment on is Mother Corona’s stellar stoner-age grooves, as you might expect from a band who’ve been on the road with Orange Goblin. Nice bit of psyche shimmer on the guitar, clean Billy Corgan-ish vocals, faultless devotion to rocking out, this is infectious stuff. Vertigo Terror, Back to Hell and Reburn (I think) are among the Corona chewns getting the ‘sheaf going, while mid-set covers of Sabbath (Into the Void – natch – and Sabotage mother lode Hole in the Sky) stoke things further and a closing I Wanna Be Your Dog are pretty perfectly pitched in my book. GO SEE THIS BAND.
Like I said, some gigs feel like home. Best of the year so far pour moi.