Mother Mother, Live@Chessvolt Studios

by Landry on November 29, 2008

mother-mother_15_luxury-wafersAli, Ryan Molly, Deb and Jeremy: Mother Mother

Vancouver-based punkpop, indie rock band Mother Mother possesses the unhinged contagiousness of effervescent Clamato. Unusual and intriguing.

Peter decribes them as B52s meets Queen.

Their bouncy cadences carry accessibly freaky, cutting lyrics which ride lilting childlike choruses, every now and then breaking out into surprise theatrical interludes. Mother Mother uses words artistically and sparsely. And while they spare extraneous verbiage in favor of catchy melodies, their pieces are intelligent and certainly stimulating.

Mother Mother – O My Heart – Luxury Wafers Sessions from Luxury Wafers on Vimeo.

Ryan is the genius behind the spectacularly assembled songs. His writing is highly evocative and repetetively minimalist. In a high register, he masculinely delivers an unmatched vocal sound that defies boundaries of gender. Just amazing. He should be the only indie rocker with a license to extend single syllable words to three.

Sister Molly on her Alesis Micron synthesizer lays an interesting bed for the hard driving numbers. Vocally, she pipes in on staccatto choruses. It’s an uncanny, genetically synchronic complement.

Deb matches the crisp harmonies, at times soulfully injecting a writhing Annie Lennox (Wrecking Ball). She’s the secret spice or sparsely employed curse word – used sparingly but of great effect.

Together, Mother Mother offers a stealth musical delivery like a precision team of wasps flying in formation.

An unmistakable jagged Pixies vibe is happening here – the ominous bass undertow (O My Heart), tilted perspective (not in the same scary-twisted way) and the texture of added girl harmonies. But there are other comparisons to be made. Ryan’s slightly grungy guitar tone reminds me of Cobain. Their structure truly is a bit like Teen Spirit on Helium.

And the 80s sound cannot be denied.

The airy synth foundation, steady, active drums, slightly crooked stance and the general bigness of what they go for as a team is reminiscent of A Flock of Seagulls‘ I Ran. Check out the link and you’ll see what I mean.

Touchup, with its whimsically tight coordination and eerily skewed content beckons Devo with harmonic fusion the likes of XTC.

Wrecking Ball deceptively lulls along, a bubblegum soundscape sneakily laced with imagery to the effect of full-throttle physical destruction, “…you gotta see the artistry in tearing the place apart with me, bay-bee…”

Hayloft runs with a carving and infectious ska-punk groove. A multilayered wack masterpiece, it throbs with the recurring pulse, “My daddy’s got a gun, you better run, gagagagaga…” while weaving the heated storyline of “Young lovers with their legs tied up in knots.” Absolutely wicked.

Since their live session, Mother Mother has repeatedly found its way into my car audio player like Spree candies to my gullet or, in the olden days, tobacco cigarettes to my lungs. Irresistible. They go to your head.

The sound quality of these recordings is so high – essentially flawless takes – it’s hard to believe this is purely a live performance. All strong contributors and skilled musicians, Mother Mother had a grounded way of giving an energetic performance with impeccable timing. An allstar team, the players fused in palatable proportions with nary an overdub or an autotune. This is just how they are.

Listen to the tracks (option/click to download):

O My Heart

Body of Years



Touch Up

Wrecking Ball

Mother Mother Myspace

    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    allo allo December 10, 2008 at 1:38 am

    B=52′s meets Queen is a good one. Although I’d say: Pixies meets Manhattan Transfer. Either way, these kids are great.

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