REVIEW: I Mother Earth – No One (1993 promo cassette)

“No one leaves the caravan.” – IME

I MOTHER EARTH – No One (1993 EMI promo cassette)

M.E.A.T Magazine was such an awesome resource for Canadians.  Their exclusive metal content really was second to none.  M.E.A.T was on top of virtually every new Canadian band on the scene.  Thanks to them, we knew all about I Mother Earth well before they were signed to EMI.

Then one day in early ’93, M.E.A.T arrived in the mailbox slightly thicker than usual.  Inside the envelope was a free cassette tape, a promo provided by EMI.  Time to see what this I Mother Earth band sounded like.  Would they live up to the hype that M.E.A.T was creating?

The full length album Dig was not released until later that summer.  Even the music video for “Rain Will Fall” hadn’t come out yet.  This EP, titled No One, was all brand new to me.  It received a lot of play.  Out walking with the Walkman, in the car, at home or at the lake:  I Mother Earth swiftly consumed me.  I felt pretty cool hearing all this music before the masses did.  They were gonna love I Mother Earth.

The cassette (repeated both sides) wisely opened with the chiming guitars of “The Mothers”.  Softer and more psychedelic than I expected.

“Listen…to the Mothers…” sings Edwin.  The track meanders on a little bit, not quite a full song but also more than just an intro.  “A surreal sound of eight-legged groove, a serving of today’s psycadellicasy.”  The clever words were written by drummer Christian Tanna, although I certainly couldn’t make them out on my own.

After a long 10 second gap, the uberfunk of “Basketball” crushes the speakers.  It’s almost too fast, but surely demonstrated that these Torontonians could play.  It’s more than just rock music.  The exotic percussion coupled with the tribal-sounding drums really took it all to another level, whether they were playing funky or psychedelic.  There’s always room for exotic percussion.

I called “No One” the centrepiece of the album, and so it is also the highlight of this tape.  Rather than hyperspeed funk, this one is built around guitar riffs.  There are two riffs in particular on this song that just steamroll.  When joined with the full-on groove of I Mother Earth, the riffs dominate your brain.  Then it gets quiet as Edwin chants “No one leaves the caravan…”, and this serves as a reset before the song comes back full strength for the kill.  Listening today, it seems almost impossible for a band to have a song this advanced on their first album.  It’s seven minutes of riff, percussion and melody yet there’s no fat to trim out.  You’d expect something like this on a third album, not a debut.

Interestingly, none of the songs on this EP were singles.  Dig ended up producing four singles.  Consider the strength of this promo tape, and you can extrapolate that Dig is probably a really strong album.  You would be correct.

5/5 stars

Advertisements

19 comments

  1. Wow, that cassette cover is a blatant ripoff of Meddle by Pink Floyd. Same colors and everything. Only they have a skull instead of an ear.

    Meddle rules. I’ll have to check this cassette out. Harrison=#1.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Harrison > #1

      I would just check out the album Dig. It’s really solid if on the long side. And yeah I guess you’re right about Meddle. I’ll let it go because this is not a commercial release so the artwork was not widely seen.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s just unconditional love, wrapped up in a Christmas bow. Harrison=#1. I’d say you were greater than #1, but I love Judas Priest too much and it breaks my heart that you’re not a Halford fan.

          What do you think of Roy Orbison, Harrison?

          Like

        2. Yeah, unfortunately not a big Halford or Priest fan. Diamonds and Rust is still a killer song though. Not too fond of Orbison, a bit too old and slow for my tastes

          Like

        3. No Orbison love? You’ve officially taken my heart, ran it over, stomped on it with cleats, doused it with kerosene, and lit a match.

          And still… Harrison=#1.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Sorry, but thanks anyway. I’ll let you return the favour- What do you think of Electric Light Orchestra?

          Like

        5. I was never a big fan, but I always liked them a bit. I preferred the stuff that Jeff Lynne did with collaborators in the late ’80s like…

          Haha. I just wish Jeff Lynne didn’t use a drum machine for those albums. It’s so obvious and sterile for records that should groove a little. Like Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever. It’s a great record, but the drum machine is silly. You had Stan Lynch, what did you need a machine for? Just like on Traveling Wilburys and George Harrison’s Cloud Nine. And some of Lynne’s pop inclinations made otherwise good songs too repetitive like Orbison’s “You Got It” and Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You”, infamously parodied by Weird Al as “This Song’s Just Six Words Long”.

          Orbison’s Mystery Girl album is a stellar though. You might like it better than his older stuff, since Jeff Lynne produces some of it, it’s a little more modern, and the Heartbreakers are frequently his backing band on it. Then again, I don’t know what you think of Tom Petty. Oops. You might hate his guts!

          Liked by 1 person

        6. Ah, a fellow Weird Al fan (I think). You are in good company. As for Petty, I think he has one of the most unmelodic voices in rock, which led to much laughs when I saw he collaborated with the most unmelodic female voice in rock (Stevie Nicks). And yeah, ELO can be a bit too pop at times, but they mostly just do good rock, and they did a great cover of Great Balls of Fire

          Like

        7. Bob Dylan as well, you really like your Wilburys. I like George Harrison, for what it’s worth. I haven’t heard any Bob Dylan, but his genre isn’t really my style.

          Like

        8. I didn’t think you’d love it, the song is just stuck in my head tonight. For a pop song it’s actually pretty good. I just cherish the thought of you viewing all that ridiculous ’80s fashion.

          I wrote a song of my own tonight actually, just the words. It’s about a mean lady that stood me up for the third Friday in a row today. It wasn’t even a date, we’re just friends. She made up some lame excuse on Wednesday and then said the whole day was suddenly a maybe, even though her supposed inconvenience was only supposed to take two hours max, and she said she was free all day previously. Then when I tried to call her last night to see what was up she wouldn’t answer, and she didn’t reply to my message either. That’s just low. She didn’t have the decency to tell me to get lost. So I’ll take a hint, but at least I got a song out of it.

          Liked by 1 person

        9. I’m sorry to hear that, that is quite low, and by a friend too. Double low.

          So you are somewhat of a musician then, if you write songs. The plot is really thick now

          Like

    1. I wish I kept more, John! I know you know the feeling. I had a lot of indi tapes and CDs and I don’t have them anymore. They would be a blast to review today, all these bands that did nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not bad for a free promo!
    I still have a treble charger promo tape from back in the day too – curiously, like this IME one, I don’t think any of them were singles.
    And as a math enthusiast, I like that real-life example of extrapolation & making predictions outside of the data set!

    Like

Rock a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s