The Electric Dunes of Titan
The Electric Dunes of Titan marks the first official full-length album from the psychedelic stoner act Motherslug. Across the album’s seven tracks is a haze of sludgy riffs and cloudy distortion that seep right into one’s eardrums. Even though the record comes with some issues and doesn’t stand out much within its genre, the band is still able to provide moments that kick with rock and roll flare.
The music is a happy middle ground for fans of Electric Wizard, Kyuss, and Pink Floyd. “Downriver” starts things with a dense drone in distortion. The progression shifts into a standard sludgy groove, the vocals flowing with the rhythm. “Serpents” continues this same sort of structure, the transition sliding in at the right time to balance both styles. The bass pumps with a tremendous gritty energy alongside the guitar, the drums clashing with the haze. The vocals merge into the progression, making for one of the album’s stronger tracks.
“Staring at the Sun” feels like half of a wasted song, for the first half of the material is this awkward spoken word piece with minimal instrumentation. It’s a waste because it doesn’t add anything to the sound, and the second half of the work is an absolute banger. “Followers of the Sun” begins with another drone in distortion; it’s a dull introduction to the material, lacking any punch to spice things up. When the vocals and drum beat kick in, there’s a doom aura that helps add some flavor to the flow. The guitar drone and distortion lack any great sense of power and drive, or the sort of emotion and energy one would expect out of acts like Sleep or Electric Wizard. However, it’s by the song’s halfway point where the band finds their footing. Like a light switch turning on, everyone tunes in to present a concoction of groovy stoner vibes. “Tied to the Mast” presents a straight forward progression in instrumentation, promising a hell of a wild time with clashing drums and thick hypnotic bass and guitar.
The Electric Dunes of Titan ends up with weird pacing and structuring issues. In regards to the stoner moments and the upbeat rock jamming, it’s as if the album is trying to cater to two atmospheres at once, rather than present one at a time. The band does get it right there and then, and those moments are where their talent and promise lie. Another issue with the album is that compared to other acts within Motherslug’s genre, there isn’t anything really unique to be found. It’s a straight forward record that offers some exciting moments, but loses traction with contrasting components in the instrumentation. For the band’s first true full-length effort, The Electric Dunes of Titan is more of a learning experience for the musicians, rather than a full pure jammer.