MAMASWEED - American Space Cake

Mamasweed - American Space Cake

10 songs
53:04 minutes
***** ****


How many times have we listened to albums that start with a couple of really strong songs, but after the first quarter hour is ebbing down and becoming downright boring? Well, the complete antithesis of this concept are the German retro stoner hippies Mamasweed. Band name, album title and kaleidoscopically arranged joints make you wonder if these guys have smoked all their brains away, or if there is a hint at self-parody.

Anyway, the first three songs were not necessarily great. Too much rooted in blues rock clichés, and not even that well done, I wanted to dismiss this band really quickly. But from the fourth song (X-Plorer) on, you get a whole different image: acoustic guitars, nice solo-ing, cool mellow piano sweeps, and lots of mellotrons carry me straight to stoner heaven. Sure, from here on, American Space Cake doesn't rock so much anymore, but Mamasweed build their own soundscapes from here. Next up is the nine minutes long Small Stones, which adds even more hippie psychedelia to the sound. While the following Stop Kicking gets you down again, the next two songs Americana and Caballera are built nearly entirely on mellotron, sounding more 70s than that era probably ever did. Fantastic stuff, if you're into that mellow sound of past ages. Magic Music is a more rhythmic piece, while the ten minutes running epic last song Gumboo leaves the best until the very end.

OK, so this is not really original, but the primitive but solid production prevent this album from sounding like some major label band wanting to cash in on the retro hype. Bands like Tea Party and Mother Earth did similar stuff before, also less known bands like Hypnos 69 (who are more rock) and Mandragora Lightshow Society (who are more psychedelic) are creating something of a hippie revival, and Mamasweed really don't have to hide in this illustrious society. Without the four weaker tracks, this would have been one incontestable masterpiece. The way it is, it's still one of the really good and entertaining albums I have heard in a long time, coming from this direction. Any self-respecting retro-fan should check this out. Yes, there is old-fashioned music beside the dead-trodden paths of stoner rock from the likes of Kyuss and QOTSA, and where the latter are about getting you to rock, Mamasweed are the perfect soundtrack for your next chill-out party!

Back to Reviews