Mother Mother
O My Heart


4.5
superb

Review

by Adrian Hertzberg CONTRIBUTOR (31 Reviews)
November 10th, 2009 | 26 replies | 10,998 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Containing lyrical gems, beautiful vocal work and intriguing instrumentation, O My Heart brings a new twist to a genre known for its somewhat straightforward sound.

Mother Mother was (at the time of release):

Debra-Jean Creelman - Vocals
Molly Guldemond, - Keys, Vocals
Ryan Guldemond – Guitar, Vocals
Jeremy Page – Bass
Ali Saidat – Drums

Formed in 2005 on Quadra Island, BC, Mother Mother are a five-piece Canadian band that plays a unique brand of indie rock. Their second album O My Heart was released to critical acclaim in September 2008 by Last Gang records.

O My Heart is everything that a good indie rock album should be. It’s catchy and full of guitar hooks and excellent vocals, but with a strong rhythm section capable of driving the tunes along. Album-opener, lead-single, and title track O My Heart introduces the listener to the band’s penchant for combining enticing musical passages with interesting vocal work while creating a fun, playful even, atmosphere, despite being one of the album’s weaker tracks.

What will most likely draw could-be listeners into the Mother Mother sound is the excellent and unique vocal work that can be found in nearly every track. Ryan Guldemond’s lead vocals blend gracefully with the back up vocals of Molly Guldemond (his sister) and Debra-Jean Creelman to create a rich vocal tone that adds an extra layer to the music sonically. The harmonization between the three vocalists is most notable on tracks such as Burning Pile and Miles but is present in some way on each song.

So the album delivers vocally, but what of the lyrics? Fortunately, Mother Mother also delivers the goods lyrically (for what good are excellent vocals without the lyrics to back them up?) On Burning Pile , for example, the mesmerizing vocal work is backed up by lyrics that are personal to an extent, but don’t separate the listener from the emotional content: …all my money been a long time spent/ on my drugs, on my rent/ oh my saving philosophy/ It goes one in the bank and the rest for me/ All my troubles on a burning pile, all lit up and I start to smile, if I catch fire then I’ll change my aim, and throw my troubles at the pearly gates . Other great lyrical moments are sprinkled throughout the album. Passages found in songs like Wrecking Ball (I made a wreck out of my hand/ I put it through the wall/ I made a fist and not a hand/ Call me a reckless wrecking ball), or Try to Change ( Try to change/ I try to change/ I make a list of all the ways to change my ways/ but I stay the same/ in a decadent age ) are simple, but clever, and are easy to relate to.

Instrumentally, Mother Mother generally sticks to the “standard” rock instruments: guitars, bass, drums and some keyboards. However, by using an array of tones and textures, the album never sounds stale. Guldemold’s guitar style changes from the soothing finger-picking of Ghosting to the more riff oriented sound of Hayloft often enough to ensure that no two songs sound the same. When appropriate, strings are tastefully used as well. In the jaunty, lyrically driven Body , for example, choppy violins drive the verses towards the more calm, melodic chorus.

Some signs of diversity are displayed when the band ventures into ever so slightly heavier territory (emphasis on “ever so slightly”) like on Hayloft . This riff driven tune about two lovers getting caught by a gun-wielding father doing you-know-what up in, you guessed it, a hayloft features a crunchier and more percussive guitar sound then the rest of the album therein creating a more ominous sounding track. By developing this sense of musical diversity and continuing to take varying sonic approaches to their songs, Mother Mother could well erase some of the only flaws found on this album and inch closer to creating a true masterpiece.

Even on these “heavier” tracks, the bottom line with Mother Mother’s music is that it is playful, happy-go-lucky, and just plain fun. But don’t be fooled, this record is not one-dimensional. It combines accessibility with various different types of sounds and themes to create a truly unique musical experience that is playful and meaningful all at once.

This album is for anyone with even a slight inclination towards rock, indie, or folk music, or anybody who likes fun at all (stay away, goth and vamp kids).

Recommended Tracks:

Burning Pile
Wrecking Ball
Hayloft
Ghosting
Arms Tonite



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user ratings (84)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 10th 2009



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This is only my second review (first non track-by-track) and while I know this band is relatively
unknown around these parts and there's more exciting things going on (BTBAM and Them Crooked Vultures
reviews, for example) I would really appreciate some feedback.

Thanks.


Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 10th 2009



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Also, if anyone's heard this, help with the rec'd by reviewer section?

moderndaydrool
November 10th 2009



322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, I saw them live last year.

My only suggestions for recs would be Metric, although truth be told it's been awhile since i've heard Mother Mother but to my recollection they sound somewhat similar.

and I emphasize "somewhat"

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2009



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks.

That's it sputnik? Seriously?

EasternLight
November 11th 2009



2700 Comments


nope! just read. sounds great. well written.

moderndaydrool
November 11th 2009



322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't worry about it, I find a lot of the time when you review a band that isn't known to Sputnik, a large portion of the time it won't get acknowledged as you like.

Just look at the one review I wrote....

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2009



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

No I figured that would happen, in fact I knew that would happen. But I'm still gonna act like it's surprising to me and keep bumping it until I get some decent feedback.

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 12th 2009



10258 Comments


been seeing this album around my work (i think we distribute them), and this review piqued my interest. can you provide any other recommendations besides another mother mother album so i can get a better feel for what they sound like?

well-written for a 2nd review, although you tend to oversimplify your sections like "i'm going to talk about lyrics here, and instrumentation there, etc." try for a smoother flow next time

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 13th 2009



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks klap, I appreciate getting some actual feedback for this one. I didn't really go into writing this with a good sense of how it should flow, and I guess it shows. I'll work on that.

Honestly, I'm such shit at providing recs for similar sounding bands, especially when it's an indie-ish kinda band. Moderndaydrool says they're similar to Metric but having never heard them, I can't confirm that.

I'll try to figure something out...stay tuned.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 13th 2009



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

There, I've added a couple similar sounding albums (I only listened to two from each album before I concluded they were similar...I hope that's good enough).


klap
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2009



10258 Comments


haha i feel you. usually i just look the band up on allmusic and look at the similar artists and if i see something that seems to match i'll use it

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 13th 2009



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

That's exactly what I ended up doing to find those two albums I've now got marked as "recommended by reviewer"

Regardless though, you should definitely check this out. It's got no love around here; I think it might need to be pushed on people by a contributor because my influence here isn't quite what I'd like it to be.....

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 4th 2010



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

edit...

langulo91
February 12th 2010



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review for your second. i just started listening to this band and some recs i can think of would be silversun pickups, phoenix, and the arcade fire. hope that helps.

djnoble
March 14th 2010



7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a great album. The songwriting is simple and clever and there are plenty of catchy hooks that make this a fun album to listen to.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2010



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Glad some more people are listening to this. I kinda wish the review was better now.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2011



7144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

MY DADDY'S GOT A GUN MY DADDY'S GOT A GUN YOU'D BETTER RUN

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

IT STARTED IN THE HAY LOFT WELL IT STARTED IN THE HAY

LOFT!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2011



7144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

With his longjohns on, Pop went a-creeping, out to the barn, up to the hay - LOFT!

As an aside, I got to see these guys when they opened for Matthew Good on his Vancouver Tour; Hay Loft live is epic.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yah I've seen them live twice, once in a bar with about 12 other people before they "got big"

I just saw them a month or so ago in my hometown, I actually did some promoting and got free tickets, and we rushed the stage during Hayloft. And when I say 'we' I mean 'me.'

It was so awesome haha it was a lame sit-down concert for 14 songs and then he started playing that riff and I'm like "fuck this" and just got up and rushed the stage. I turned around to see that I was being followed by hundreds of people. The event security didn't know what to do with themselves, I don't think that's ever happened (a stand up and dance concert) in stupid fucking Nanaimo.



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