Zen Mothers

review = B

The Zen Mothers are an interesting band. For starters, they're from North Dakota. OK, so that's not necessarily interesting, but at least it's different. They also make good music. Lots of it. And -that's- what makes the Zen Mothers interesting. Although heavy into hippie style jam rock, the mothers are all over the board stylistically. Aptly named, -Mikrokosmic- is a musical carpetbag that's been overstuffed with samples of their various and sundry musical wares. Talk about variety. The CD opens with a short space noodle sequence that flows seamlessly into -Ceiling-, a percussion and keyboard driven jam complete with trippy guitar work, funky clavinet, mind bending lyrics and a deeply hooked chorus. -Ides of March- is a Latin tinged guitar orgy featuring passionate picking and screaming licks. Hot, hot, hot! The next track satisfies the sense of humor quota: -Blue Terrapin- is a schmaltzy, three day swing down the Pennsylvania turnpike - think Tom Waits meets Spike Jones. Not only funny, it's actually a good tune. -Get Off the Car/Retraction- is an upbeat pop number that shuffles along with a playful, sorta southern fried thing goin' on. And then comes another twist, the extended classical piano intro on -Bobali-. Throw in a little more mid-tempo spacey funk with misc. techno gurgles to round out the disc and there you have it. Lots-o-stuff from the mothers. Interesting. Very interesting.