Seems with a lot of Indie bands, after the out-of-the-park album of whimsy comes the reflective, introspective and bittersweet album of contemplation. Mother-Mother’s fallen into this trap as well, on their latest, “Sticks”.
The music here is darker, grimmer, still sarcastic but more cuttingly so. There’s still great vocal harmonies and a Lennonesque touch to the material that I find make Mother-Mother so enjoyable, but there’s an undercurrent of unpleasantness to this album…as if the performers are seething, just reaching a boil, but just under the surface. Certainly the spiteful lyrics of [Track 4] bespeak anger and contempt for the targeted “kinda fat, kinda old Businessmen”.
Then there’s tracks like [Track 5] [Track 7] that reveal malaise, misery and a loss of joie de vivre in the lyrics. When the songs do take a slightly more upbeat sound, such as on [Track 8], it’s all about how happy the singer would be to leave it all behind for a cabin in the woods, and the followup [Track 9] attacks society as a whole and talks about how wonderful life in a cave is.
Oh yeah…no metadata…
With all the songs that are complaint for the sake of complaint and spite for everything around them, I’m left to wonder: if the life of a performing musician is so awful, so miserable, why do it? If the people in Mother-Mother are really as bitter, angry, miserable and unhappy as they sound on ‘Sticks’, maybe it’s time for them to quit.
Mother Mother: Sticks – 5/10
A track-to-track continuous-play Dubstep reimagining of ZZT’s ‘Party’s Over’ gives us a fantastic, trippy set of metadata-included club traxx perfect for dancing and sweating the night away or to just put on during a chill party.
Nothing but good things to say about this one’s grooving rhythms, well layered sounds and perfectly-executed beats. Whether you’re an old-school Raver, refugee from the House scene, Banned from the Buddha Bar or a dabbler of Dubstep, you really should pick this one up. Hell, I’d even recommend it to lovers of Progressive Jazz, because all that’s good about this kind of music has a little sliver of Jazz in its soul.
These are some late night kind of grooves, or dope driving tunes, or just some great background noise for a chill afternoon. Have a listen and enjoy.
ZZT: Party’s Over The Earth – 10/10
First, let me say that I had no idea that the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd were still alive; I had no idea they were still making music. In the case of the former, I’m glad to hear it. In the case of the latter…not so much.
When the opening notes of the title track hit your ear, you sort of rejoice. And then Johnny Van Zandt starts singing; his vocal range ain’t where it used to be, and the lyrics are nowhere as good as the classic Good Ol’ Boy Rock & Roll that this band is famous for. Instead we get a lot of ham-fisted Bible-thumpin’ Christian Rockin’ Jesus Preachin’ music layered between slices of nostalgia-heavy memory trips that just make you want to drop the album cold.
I’d rather go back and listen to ‘Second Helping’ or ‘Skynyrds Inyryds’ or for that matter if I want something fresh, go listen to anything to My Morning Jacket or The Sheepdogs to get my fix without the ultrarightwing Conservative Christian claptrap Lynyrd Skynyrd’s vomiting up on this album
The worst part is that the instrumentation is great, and the music is very well timed and paced. But the lyrics and vocals both do terminal damage to the songs. Instead of being as awesome as it could have been, we get something that Austin City Limits would be embarrassed to air.
Lynyrd Skynyrd: Last of a Dying Breed – 5/10