Mother Mother: The Sticks
From the stark opening notes of the ethereal “The Omen,” this album grabs your attention and locks you in for a forty-eight minute journey through genre-defining rock ‘n roll. “Something about the world today makes a boy feel a bit insane, From daffodils to acid rain to Antichrist on a tidal wave… With a couple of sticks and a couple of stones, I’ll dig a pit and lay my bones.” Dark, cheerful, skeptical, and sometimes fun, it’s a roller coaster, and a great ride. Truthfully, not much more you can ask for in a rock album.
Truth be told, I’m quickly becoming an avid Mother Mother fan. The band. fronted by brother/sister combo, Ryan and Molly Guldemond, offers a refreshing and creative approach to rock music. It’s edgy, passionate rock, and oh so welcome in today’s increasingly stale cookie cutter environment. Their sound is unique and totally their own, but if pressed for a comparison, I’d offer Cage The Elephant merged with Grouplove. And, that’s damn good company.
Their 2011 offering, Eureka was one of RARA’s Farm’s Top 10 albums of the year, a year where he had Cage The Elephant and Grouplove at the top of the list (see the Best of 2011 here).
On The Sticks, we see the quintet out of Vancouver, B.C. continue to evolve. The album is generally contemplative about the “God awful shitty feeling of dread in my heart” feeling that permeates our world today. The magic to those lyrics is the juxtaposition of Ryan’s saccharine sweet vocals delivering the depressingly dramatic lines. The lyrics throughout the album are priceless, and the music pure cutting-edge mastery. It’s a trait of the album; a rare combination of stellar music and fantastic lyrics throughout, a true aural masterpiece.
The fourteen tracks on the album weave together masterfully. The Sticks is an album, not a collection of loosely associated tracks. The songs were written on the road over a fairly brief period of time and mesh together expertly. Many of the offerings feature nicely layered boy/girl vocals, with Ryan taking the male leads while Molly and keyboardist Jasmine Parkin trade-off the female leads.
“Let’s Fall In Love,” the first single off of the album is an absolute addiction. The song is driven by Jeremy Page’s bass and Ali Siadat’ drumming, and also features a great guitar riff from Ryan Guldemond. The music is damn near perfect, and the vocals even better. Ryan’s vocals stand out and offer a truly fresh feel. His guitar work is also excellent throughout the album, and I’d recommend taking a spin through the tracks just focusing on the guitar work – again, creative, original stuff that just works fantastically.
The album weaves nicely between poppy, melancholy and aggressive rocking cuts, as illustrated in the excellent run of songs beginning with “Infinitesimal,” “Happy” and “Bit By Bit.” It’s a small slice indicative of the breadth and depth of this diverse album destined to be one of those rare offerings that defines a year.
I’ll leave you with a few lyrics from my favorite track on the album, the provocative, energetic “Bit By Bit.” “I’m getting on a mountain, away from the people on the ground and Some cop sticking up my wagon. Chop chop we gonna build a cabin, up top on a pretty little mountain, Fuck off all you people on the ground, ya!” Just make sure you grab a copy of the year’s first can’t miss album to keep you good company during your journey through the sticks…
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