Mother Mooch & Ten Ton Slug @ Fred Zeppelins, Cork 10 Sep 2016

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mother mooch freds

Cork’s grand ol’ dame Fred Zeppelins is on a good run. Over the last few weeks they’ve hosted post punk and jangle of Slow Riot and FONDA, the alternative rock/metal of This Place is Death and The Magnapinna, and tonight they’ve got the eclectic combination of local post metal boys Partholón, Galway sludge lovers Ten Ton Slug, and the versatile psych rock of Mother Mooch on offer. Not too shabby at all.

Before their set kicked off, all I knew about local post metal quartet Partholón was that some of their members are also in The Magnapinna, and that Partholón is also the name of a character in Christian Irish pseudo history. He was the leader of the Muintir Partholóin who arrived in Ireland 300 years after Noah’s Flood and, apparently, brought  farming, cooking, brewing and buildings with them. Some years later, they all died from a plague within a week. Cheery stuff.

The band are aptly named, as throughout their set, their songs tread a fine line between gut wretchingly morose and moody, and soaringly cathartic and euphoric. Calling to mind Neurosis at their most ferocious and exploratory or Cult of Luna before they softened out in their later career, Partholón mine a vein of post metal that has been well explored at this stage. However, they are so adept at manipulating their songs to have the maximum impact on the audience that the approach feels fresh and new once more. Rumour has it that they have a debut EP on the horizon. I would not miss that if I were you.

Fresh from their triumph at Bloodstock, Galway’s Ten Ton Slug are a confident and well oiled machine. Obviously flying after recent successes, they play like a band who are fully aware that they are on to something very special. That something special is difficult to describe, but I’ll give it a shot. Ten Ton Slug play a filthy, dirty, swampy sludge/groove/slow thrash metal with a frontman who recalls Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth. Yeah. That’s about right.

Their set consists of ferociously thick meaty riffs and expansive song structures. They open with fan favourite ‘Godes Andsaca’, a track from their debut EP that is simply unrelenting. This is the theme of the evening as they storm their way through their set, showcasing tracks like ‘Subterreanean’ and ‘Slug Grinder’. These lads also have a new EP upcoming. If it is half as good as their live show, it’ll be face melting.

Headling tonight are Dublin quintet Mother Mooch. These are certainly an unusual proposition. This is evident from the moment the group take the stage as each band member looks the polar opposite of the last. There’s the Rex Brown look-alike Léon Ó’Gríofa on bass, who spends his time headbanging alongside Farl on guitar, who with his flannel shirt and Fender Jaguar seems cut from an entirely different musical cloth. Then there’s Sid Daly on guitar and vocals whose metal vibe contrasted with a Misfits shirt somewhat explains the band’s approach and Chloë Ní Dhúada on vocals, whose voice seems completely at odds with her vintage goth stage presence.

Clearly though, it is these range of influences that make Mother Mooch a success. Well that and their ability to get over two broken ‘E’ strings with some twelve bar blues and a wonderfully terrible joke from Chloë. Songs range from the hard rock of ‘This Tempest’ to their punk/noise rock influenced cover of ‘Out On The Western Plain’, to the grunge ballad ‘Into The Water’ which would have fit perfectly on the Singles Soundtrack. At times, they very much remind me of some of the lesser known bands of the late 80’s Seattle scene. I’m thinking Love Battery or The Afghan Whigs in their love of all things ranging from soul to punk to hard rock to metal.

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