While promoting his memoirs I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax in 2014, Scott Ian (@scott_ian) revealed he is a fan of now defunct LA band Mother Superior, before they became Henry Rollins‘ (@henryrollins) band, and that he had wanted to hear their music played live once again. For Ian’s 50th birthday the year before, his wife Pearl Aday (aka Meatloaf’s daughter), who co-writes with Mother Superior front man Jim Wilson (@jimwilson45), helped recruit him to sing. Along with Joey Vera (@joey_vera) from Armored Saint and Fates Warning on bass and John Tempesta (website) from the Cult on drums, they were able to give Ian his birthday wish and play a 12 song set. Although it wasn’t planned in the beginning, they had so much fun playing the songs that when Metal Blade Records called to say they were interested, the Supergroup/Cover Band went into Ian’s home studio and recorded the same tracks, taking the band’s name from one of the songs they covered on the album.
The album was recorded live in only two days, so it has a raw quality to it that emphasizes the hard rock and blues influences. These may be the best rock songs you’ve never heard of from the ‘00s! There are of course classic rock influences, such as Zeppelin on “Pretty in the Morning”, but there are more contemporary influences as well. Wilson brings out his inner Joe Bonamassa on songs like “This Song Reminds Me of You” and “Beg Borrow Steal”, a couple of years before Black Country Communion hit the scene. His voice is front and center on both the original and the new versions, as it should be.
Mother Superior was a 3-piece band, but with the addition of a second guitar and Aday’s backup vocals and assorted percussion, Motor Sister really fills out the sound. Songs like “A Hole” and “Fork in the Road” benefit from the hard rock/metal pedigree of the rest of the band with a formidable guitar attack and tight (if somewhat subdued) rhythm section. Aside from a fuller sound, Wilson’s vocals have been recorded differently than the originals, but otherwise Motor Sister stuck very closely to the original compositions. In fact, a side-by-side comparison shows just how strong these songs sounded in their original versions.
The group has played a couple of shows in California and one in Brooklyn and plan some more shows in late summer in the US, on the Motorhead Cruise and eventually in Europe. Ian and Wilson would also like to write some original music in the future, turning Motor Sister into a full-fledged band. With Anthrax touring and recording a new album, Armored Saint having released a new album in June followed by touring of their own, and the Wilson/Aday collaboration, it’s not clear when this might happen. Based on this sample, though, I hope the schedules get worked out real soon!
- “A-Hole” – from Moanin’
- “This Song Reminds Me of You” – from Moanin’
- “Beg Borrow Steal” – from Three Headed Dog
- “Fool Around” – from Sin
- “Get That Girl” – from Moanin’
- “Head Hanging Low” – from 13 Violets
- “Fork in the Road” – from Moanin’
- “Little Motor Sister” – from Moanin’
- “Pretty in the Morning” – from Sin
- “Whore” – from Mother Superior
- “Doghouse” – from Mother Superior
- “Devil Wind” – from Moanin’
Ride, Scott Ian’s memoirs and music from all these bands can be found at the Decibel Geek Amazon link!
BUY: Motor Sister – Ride (amazon.com)