I realized that the last time I was jawing at you about young, offbeat hipster Canadian cuties Mother Mother, I streamed basically the entirety of their new album (but I wisely did not throw up the mp3s and make them available to download; look who’s NOT getting her narrow ass sued today! me! I am the one!), but, other than “Dirty Town,” I almost totally ignored their first-ish album. It was a retool in cooperation with the label of an earlier, limited self-release. The album is called Touch Up, and while I don’t think it has the same naked genius and confidence of O My Heart, it is still infinity plus one times better than most of the slop the pretty people shove down our throats on the reg.
One of my favorite songs in the world is “Mr. Sandman,” of which I have many covers. This frenetically paced track makes wide reference to it. It’s a crazy song and I do not at all recommend it if you are hung over, but it’s awesome if you’re on the natch and looking for a little ear candy.
Mother Mother – Tic Toc
I included it first here because I think it’s the best track of the lot for the distinctive harmonics and characteristically shifty orchestration, which is still emerging on this album and reached full fruit on the more recent LP O My Heart. I love that every time you think you have a bead on the different instruments, something gets cut and something crazy and new gets thrown in, although consistent throughout is that great plucky cotton-picking acoustic sound that makes all music good for me; some things just speak to your soul and that is apparently my soul’s style.
Congruently, it’s almost becoming signature to me in Ryan Guldemond’s compositions to hear that fluid time signature; always jerking the rug out from beneath us, these kids. Also, as usual, some surprisingly good lyrics, I really feel like the songs “Wrecking Ball” and “Burning Pile” on their sophomore release picks this theme back up, enough so that I’m starting to want to sit down and have a couple pints with Ryan G and nail down some solid plans for anarchy (oxymoron intended).
All this talk, all this ticking, all this shit talk
I’m staying in bed today
And it doesn’t matter what they’ll have to say to me
No I do not care just what they’ll have to say to me
Cuz I am not listening
Big hand, little hand, no hand, slow hand
Sitting in my hand is the sand of a shattered hour glass
And I throw these grains of sand into the wind and laugh
And I do not care just what they’ll have to say about that
Cuz the sand man told me, there’s no use in listening
I am not listening to you
Another standout track is “Love and Truth.” The ladies take the lead on this song, and it’s a shiny little pretty gem on a decent but occasionally rough and uneven album.
Mother Mother – Love and Truth
Is my life not all that I thought it would be?
Is it simply ordinary?
Oh, is it far from all my fantasies?
Love and truth
Why are they so hard to achieve
Love and truth
They’re such hot commodities
But come in such small quantities
Love and truth where are you?
Oh, love and truth
If everything was up to me
I’d make sure that there was plenty of love and truth
Love and truth where are you?
Molly Guldemond at the Central Jazz Fest in Gastown, photographed by Krystal Shea.
Hilarious and honest and surprising with vocals that rip through like from underwater to squawk the cocky lyrics at you, with the girls’ harmonic back-ups in styles that vary from the Ronettes to the ladies’ choir vox on Duran-Duran’s “Come Undone,” really funny and unflinching at the same time. I wonder what conversation lead him to write those lyrics. I want to meet that chick.
Mother Mother – Verbatim
I wear women’s underwear
And then I go to strike a pose in my full length mirror
I cross my legs just like a queer
But my libido is strong when a lady is near, ya
What defines a straight man’s straight?
Is it the boxer in the briefs or a twelve ounce steak?
I tell you what a women loves most
It’s a man who can slap but can also stroke
Goin’ in the wind is an eddy of the truth and it’s naked
It’s verbatim and it’s shakin’
backupNo, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no more getting’ elated
No more listless invitations
And every day I go out walking past its sickly windows
I see people dying there
But my tender age makes it hard to care
Incinerator and a big smoke stack
It’s a phallic symbol and it makes me laugh
All I need is a heart attack
C’mon, humble my bones with a Cardiac
For the love of fuck
For the sake of Pete
Did you ever really think you’d love a guy like me?
I am the rooster in the morning
I’m the cock of the day
I’m the boxer in the briefs
I’m a twelve ounce steak
Ya, it’s verbatim
And ya, and it’s naked
And ya, and it’s shakin’
It shakes, shakes shakes
That’s it for me, I need to do a little laundry so I have something to wear when Panda and I go out for some soosh bombasticos tonight, as planned. It’s going to be a slaughter! That sushi restaurant will rue the day I heard of it.