MOTHS. Photo: Andrew Dominguez
With pretty much every band with intensity, the route in which they operate as a band can be crucial to their survival. With Houston’s MOTHS, that route is nothing short of breathtaking. The three-piece has never operated within the norms of what the music industry would consider a proper road map, but that’s what makes them so extraordinary. On their new EP FRESHDIRT, found exclusively here, the experimental noise trio drops one of the most intense and fevered releases I’ve heard in a long time without compromise or malady. Free Press Houston was more than happy to debut the three tracks from a band that doesn’t follow any rules and still comes across as ahead of everyone else.
The opener “Likes” is a bit over one minute and ten seconds, just shy of a minute and a half, but the intensity within is immeasurable. Immense, dark and lush but still minimal in ways, the band quickly proves that they can do more with less time than many bands. They follow this up with the crazed fervency of “Scums.” The song, as per the band, is about calling out men who make women afraid to walk down the street or form friendships due to today’s rape culture, and it’s rich with insane guitar work and jazz-fueled drum progressions that make the song feel closer to a freeform jam on speed. If this is what the band can do in a short time frame, it’s definitely a flushed out sound replete with noise elements mixed with metal and math heavy riffs that jump around in rhythm without losing the listener. They close things off with the almost eight minute track, “Mes,” and it’s nothing short of mesmerizing. The intense vocals, the crazed drums sounding like they’re being played on a stolen kit, and the mix of bass and guitar that sound like distorted notes in a blender all add to the frenzied sound these guys create together. There’s even a soundscaped middle section to the track that almost feels like a dream sequence before the band starts digging back into their intense and dark sound.
You might not even begin to be into what’s happening here, but I think this is one best EPs I’ve heard from this genre in a long time. By going in and laying everything down with Jacob Rodriguez and Eleazar “PeeWee” Ruiz at King Benny Productions in such a sparse time frame, MOTHS leave everything in the moment while creating three of the harshest and most intense songs you’ll hear in a good while. Recorded in eight hours with mixing and mastering concluding it all in the course of 24 hours total, MOTHS really proves that they’re still at their best even with almost no time at all. The EP is available tomorrow for FREE or pay what you want here. You can catch MOTHS at SXSW on March 16 at Mount Moon, March 18 at Shirley’s Temple, or on March 26 here in Houston at Satellite Bar. The Houston show will feature performances from The Spirit of the Beehive, Fight Me, Bernie Pink and Glyde with doors at 7 pm and a $10 cover.