Mothers of Gut: “Unking” – album review

As published by L.A. RECORD:

An LSD trip encompasses transitional states between mind and body. The same can be said of Unking, the new record from Riverside natives Mothers of Gut, with the effects of a smiley-faced unicorn tab.

Starting off nice and slow, the ten-minute opening title track confuses, meanders, chugging forward with slow blowing horns and unintelligible lyrics sung from another dimension. It’s really starting to come on, and you settle into the steady groove of “Stalemate”: with string contributions from Tes Elations’ Isaac Takeuchi and Big Whup’s Morgan Gee, its unwavering downtempo beat and crisp guitars convincingly complement Aaron Freeman’s inexplicably earnest vocals. Then there’s a babbling brook, chirping birds, a single set of footfalls rustling softly through a forest: soothing sounds comprise the entirety of “There is a Great Sadness to Your Wisdom,” and as those lonely footfalls become yours, you are aware of the sadness and grow a little uneasy, unsure of just how far along you are in this journey and what is yet to come.

Things gets darker when “Smoke the Master” brings back the alien voice from before but clearer, more sinister, uneasily laden with boingy synths and fuzzed-out flanged guitars. It’s all Pink Floyd Meddle now. With a long ebb of fuzzy noise and a sudden flow of quiet, “Wizard Tree” brings us to an appropriate end.

You arise from your peaceful resting place on the forest floor, brush the twigs and leaves from your hair and wander home wondering where your other shoe went, and is it Thursday or Saturday?

—Linda Rapka


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