Review Summary: We theatrical emo huh
King Mothership is the brain child of Spencer Sotelo with help of Matt Halpern, lead vocalist and drummer respectively of renowned progressive metal band Periphery. An incredibly influential band in recent years for that type of music, although the band is slowly losing influence over the years. Digressions aside, multiple members have created side projects over the years and now it's more or less Spencer's turn.
Spencer has actually released multiple side projects such as Endur and Nik Mystery with King Mothership being the newest. The description I get when listening to this new project is... "theatrical emo"... This album largely takes reminiscent detours to old emo acts from the instrumentation to the overall vibe of the tracks to Spencer's vocals. Panic! At The Disco comes to mind as these theatrical moments pop up continuously through the 48 minute runtime.
The instrumentation isnt really anything to right home about, although the parts do their job well enough and adequately so. The drumming is one of the highlights of the album overall, Matt once again demonstrating his chops behind the kit to no ones surprise. On a large portion of the album instrumental skill is overall overshadowed by the minimalist approach of notes being played, which is quite refreshing since Periphery like to expel a pandemonium of notes in most of their tracks. See Goodnight My Darling as an example that has a somewhat reminiscent factor to equally as renowned act The Dear Hunter, its very subtle in execution especially in instrumentation that works to the songs benefit.
When looking at the album it's important to look at its actual purpose of existence and why this album was made in the first place, was it for a shot at commercial success or was it just a fun project? One surely must wonder. Spencer tracked guitars and bass on the album which is quite admirable, and it shows off his multi-instrumentalist skills. Spencer's vocals are once again quite good but that goes for all of his vocal performances besides perhaps Periphery's debut album from 2010. But once again one cannot help but call back to that emo essence that carries throughout every note that he sings.
There are notable songs on the album such as Death Machine and The Ritual that get the heaviness job done nicely. Spencer's lyrics and vocal performances can be quite... eccentric though such as the "*** stain on his ass" line on Cosmic Meltdown (yes he really does say that) or the bridge of The Ritual. Falsetto is used throughout the album, Spencer displays tremendous vocal control throughout every track undeniably.
One of the most glaring issues I see throughout every track however is the mixing, drums are very compressed and provides not much ring out when Matt hits the snare for instance, and the kick isnt much better. It leaves the mix feeling oddly sparse throughout, as if something isnt quite right in the mixing department overall. But all of this said, I could actually see multiple tracks on this album being commercially viable and successful, they have the personality, they have nice hooks, they have the great vocals. The album overall is very enjoyable and fun, it's a nice little affair at the end of day that falters im some aspects that may upset ones critical eye, but most likely wont be an issue for a majority of music listeners.