Salloom, Sinclair and Mother Bear

Salloom, Sinclair and Mother Bear

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Salloom-Sinclair and the Mother Bear is very much a 1968 period piece in its awkward, sometimes chaotic mix of blues-rock, psychedelia, and self-consciously hip literary wordplay. Like many such endeavors, the intentions are more interesting than the music. The band's most striking feature is the piercing, wavering voice of Robin Sinclair, who at her highest goes into Minnie Riperton-like stratospheres. Her singing is both impressive and, at times, irritating, often bearing a strong resemblance in approach to Janis Joplin's. At its most strident, sometimes, to pull in a more distant and obscure comparison, there are also similarities to Annisette of the Danish band Savage Rose. With their constant lurches into different tempos and sections, the songs rumble forward like a bus weaving through rush-hour traffic, often building off a heavy blues-rock base. But the material (largely written, and sometimes sung, by Roger Salloom) is too often stuck in pedestrian aggressive bluesy and Dylan-ish poses, tinged with a little San Francisco psychedelic-styled freakiness. Salloom can really grate, too, when he gets in a Dylan-ish talking-blues state of mind.

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