Admittedly, I don’t know much about the Aussie stoner scene. I mean, there’s never been a Desertfest Australia… although that would probably make more sense than Desertfest Berlin, when you think about it. So I can’t say I knew much about Motherslug before I pushed play. With that said, this album cover screams Nebula, and if you squint enough, their drummer looks a bit like Brant Bjork, so we’re not off to a bad start.
Alas, The Electric Dunes of Titan isn’t a bad place to get lost for 43 minutes. The album opens with “Downriver,” an eight-minute stoner stomp that starts off all doomy before dialling in some desert-rock tones. Around the 2:30 mark, there’s a bit of Sleep in the bass line that kicks in, along some fuzzy riffs, and an effect-laden vocal that sounds like Scott Hill ate too many mushrooms. There’s a bridge riff that reminds me of the Fu, but for the most part this song is even slower. I really dig the swirling riff that first appears around the 6:30 mark.
The equally-lengthy “Followers of the Sun” has much more of a Sleep vibe, with a fuzzy bass intro that apes Dopesmoker and an overall slower, doomier approach. They lose the vocal effects on this one, which is a plus. I also hear a lot of Reverend Bizarre on this one. “Stoned by the Light” also takes on more of a stoner-doom approach, with a bit of a John Garcia sneer—this ain’t no ELO number!—while “Serpents” even throws some sitar into the mix on a tune reminiscent of OM, until it takes a bit of a Clutchy turn past the three-minute mark.
The first half of “Staring at the Sun” is a spoken-word astrology lesson set to music, before the stoner grooves and screams kick in around the 2:30 mark. The back half of this one is pretty decent.