Koen W. : Halfway August it's time for me and the family to spend our annual weeks’ vacation, as usual somewhere in southern France. A less enjoyable aspect is of course the many hundreds of kilometers on the French péage autoroutes. You can listen to some nice music in the car though. Unfortunately, the rest of the family listens also, and the slogan: 'The driver chooses the music' is not relevant anymore. Now the invisible border between the northern and southern part of France is the city of Lyon. After that, the holiday feeling begins. Life goes a little slower, beautiful weather, cricket sounds, the smell of thyme and lavender and of course the amount of red wine and pastis. So when I came back home, the CD from Mother & Pearl lied there, waiting to be reviewed. Hailing straight from that magical city of Lyon.
'Psycho Thrill' is already their second album, but unfortunately I never heard their debut 'Inner Voice' from 2014. I was expecting to a little bit of that southern French kinda relaxed way of life, but was I wrong or what! It already begins with the compelling artwork of photographer Danielle Turnstall. The horror clown keeps chasing you. Just like the music the band fires upon you with opener 'Psycho Thrill'. Mother & Pearl play modern and aggressive metal with a lot of thrash influences. Yet they are not really a thrash band, they are so much more. Sometimes leaning towards hardcore they even dare to experiment and just not stupidly follow some rules that a lot of other bands do. Especially (I suspect it anyway) the brothers Coulon take care of this. Olivier plays the guitar, and Mathieu does some serious drum demolition. Both also take care of the vocals. One has a booming violent but no grunting voice and the other has a solid clear voice that reminds me a lot of Serj Tankian. The combination of these two provides excellent singing lines. The grooving riffs and sometimes melodic, sometimes aggressive, guitar solos make it complete. In 'Renegades' you get a touch of electronics and a chorus that even sounds gothic. With a great song as result. In addition, they dare to inject and add a broad spectrum of other influences, like a piece of Southern rock in the beginning of 'A Two Sided Man'.
Mother & Pearl has delivered an excellent album here, which shows a lot of potential for the near future. And if I pass Lyon again in next year, I will pay tribute to 'Psyho Thrill' by let it violently loud through my car speakers. Avoiding obviously the evil looks from my passengers.