The English Language – ‘Mother Tongue’.

The English Language – Portland, Oregon, USA.

Mother Tongue, the latest album from Portland based The English Language not only boasts some gross but pretty rad artwork, it also holds twelve full-length tracks oozing with trippy beats culminating a Grunge meets Psychobilly meets Punk mess! Profession term that.

Opening the album is ‘Terror In The Modern Vein’ which breaks in with a pretty basic guitar riff, Nirvana-esque, which I love, with the vocals resonating somewhere between hoarse-heroin smoke and comatose Primus. But it’s edgy and I like it.

Moving slowly into track two, ‘Wont You’ carries a surprising Psychobilly riff and with it comes echoed vocals and 1950’s Sci-fi movie style strings. It feels like The Cramps and I’m warming up to it more so now.
‘Teen Jean’ keeps the Rockabilly theme but a little trippier and slightly darker. Perhaps this is more of the 50’s horror movie drive-in or Grease on heavy drugs, I’m sensing this album has a theme?

Track four, ‘Cheap Cruise’ also sounds pretty sci-fi, and the guitar riff is similar to its predecessors, but now the vocals sound like they were recorded inside a fish bowl, nonetheless this keeps the edginess and indeed unique approach of the album in continuity, flowing and certainly alive.

‘Surrender Your Soul’ brings the Grunge element back, the vocals still echoing in the background between the steady guitar and simplistic drum beat. ‘IWASN’ lands with the Punk vibe I’ve been patiently waiting for, Lux Interior just jumped aboard the Psych-Punk space ship in this more upbeat track with faster vocals and more playful repetition.

‘Boogie Nightmare’ busts in still slaying those 1950’s vibes, leading into ‘Pure Liquid Hell’, which to be blunt combines a sick name with a sick bass line with still no clear decision on a genre in sight.

‘High Beams’ is next, again, the bass picks up again, resting nicely against the familiar guitar twang, the fish bowl vocals and heavier chorus. Track ten, ‘From the Basement Drawer’, decreases in tempo with a catchy chorus, it feels like the album-pace is dropping, until ‘Black Zodiac’ kicks in like racing cars and Pulp Fiction. Yoou still can’t help but feel the old school Punk-Psychobilly edge, I hear ‘Cramp Stomp’ and I Love it.

Finally, ‘TV Odyssey’ closes the album. It’s a dull roar of choppy guitar and Psych-Punk vibes, which is all it needs to be. This isn’t heavy riff madness and hammers hitting bass drums, instead its perfect listening for some trippy Cramps-Nirvana-Vince Ray vibes! And seriously, the artwork is rad!

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Bethany Jinks

Bethany. A Twenty-something Punk-Rock war-lady from Cornwall.

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