I Mother Earth
with Mutha’s Day Out at Axis
by Scott Hefflon
photo by Chris Johnson
Wild, formless noise rolled upon the crowd, wave after wave. It peaked and crashed and crescendoed again. The noise coalesced into a jam, an intro. A note was held, sustained. “Feel Heavy” was thundered and “Levitate” started the show. The sound was MUCH heavier than I’d expected from their release Dig, which is more trippy, jazzy progressive hard rock. The bass was a huge rumbling you could feel throughout your insides, the percussionist was madly scattering tribal banter in the cracks, and the guitarist laid MEAN nonstop riffs over the top, and over the edge.
They’re compared to free wheelin’ ’70’s jam rock so much, I’d almost expected it. Typical. That’s only half the story. True, they have some soothing, trippy interludes and loose, jamming rounds, but what of the frantic tear-it-up chaos? The guitarist literally flies over the fretboard, while the bassist is slapping out some insane funk, the solos are erupting and it just keep coming! Tribal congas dancing, thundering bass, gutsy vocals and this wild haired, screaming effect-happy guitarist: This sure ain’t retro trash. They’re self-critical musicians, not self-indulgent entertainers. They have floaty, arty videos, lengthy, intricate songs and they put on a great, action packed show.