New Music Review: Mother Mother – Eureka

When I was just a wee lad, my mother used to tell me whenever I was very excited for something, not to get my hopes up. I don’t think I fully understood this notion, but now that I’m a few years older I think I understand what she meant.

When Mother Mother‘s brand spankin’ new album Eureka first spun around in my Sony Discman and pumped jams into my earbuds, I was reminded of my mom’s instructions.  Perhaps I was hoping for another Wrecking Ball or O My Heart: an instantaneously catchy, quirky indie pop hook.  Aside from their first single The Stand, the instantaneous hooks may not jump right out at you.

BUT!

After a few spins, the songs begin to take shape and become identifiable as hits in their own right on this album called Eureka.

If you’re unfamiliar with Mother Mother, they’re a neat little* (*I use that term loosely) band out of Vancouver, BC.  They’re fronted by co-lead singer, guitar player and songwriter Ryan Guldemond.  (You may know a little Mother Mother, in fact, if you’ve read my blog before, or if you listen to BC radio stations such as 100.5 the PEAK, 91.3 the Zone and CBC Radio 3.  Their singles include O My Heart, Body Of Years, Wrecking Ball, Hayloft, and the aforementioned The Stand)

The highly-anticipated, third studio album kicks off with Chase It Down a rockin’, funky number with almost as much organ as something you’d expect to hear on a Deep Purple album.  The love-it-or-hate-it single, The Stand follows and keeps the tempo, and quirkiness, going.

As a matter of fact, a majority of the album is uptempo, and better off for it.  The only slower tune is the ballad(ish) Getaway. This is notable, also, due to the fact that it’s the only song on the album sung in entirety by Molly Guldermond (please correct me if I’m mistaken on that one). Getaway may be a little slower but at 2:35 in, it kicks into a funky little riff, if for nothing else but a tease.  Nice.

Getting a little ahead of myself on the track listing, Getaway is preceded by a run of songs, which in my humble opinion, is the best 3-song run on the album: Simply Simple, Problems and Aspring Fires.  If there’s some question as to whether Mother Mother have lost a little quirk in their step, Problems takes care of that, erm, problem.  As if drawing my ear to the über-catchy intro, über-catchy pre-chorus(?), and über-catchy chorus wasn’t enough, Guldemond leads into an all-too-rare guitar solo. A guitar solo that wouldn’t be the least bit out of place on a Stray Cats or Living End tune, in fact.  It’s actually too bad that the über-talented (last “über”, I promise) Ryan Guldemond doesn’t venture into the egotistical foray that is the guitar solo a little more often…

But I digress…

In The Wings is a potential second single from Eureka, mostly because it may be one of the more “radio-friendly” tracks on the ablum. Calm Me Down begins with a high tempo, paired with some mellow singing from Guldemond and the girls, but towards the end of the song, the vocals become a much more intense as Guldemond shouts “I wanna scream eureka!”, likely the inspiration for the album title…

While there may not be as many outright, indie pop hooks on this album as their previous album, O My Heart, this is, in my opinion a more mature effort from a band that is growing musically and experimenting successfully.  And although I was mildly disappointed on the first spin, the songs on this album blossom with every new listen into something bold and extravagant!

A solid album with few, if any ruffles: 4 out of 5 stars

-Dylan

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~ by whet_hopped on March 23, 2011.

3 Responses to “New Music Review: Mother Mother – Eureka”

  1. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am with this new album. I discovered MM about a year ago or so after I’d heard them do an acoustic version of Oh My Heart on the CBC with Jian Ghomeshi. I was immediately hooked on them and listened to everything I could find only to discover Oh My Heart was just one brilliant song of their many many brilliant songs. I tell everyone I can to give them a listen and have turned a good handful of friends on to their music….BUT after listening to their new album I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in it. I realize the need to give an album a chance and after many listens all the way through I find these songs to have lost everything I love about them. The quirky drops, the amazing multi layered harmonies the different styles of music they worked with are just not there. This album is a bland collection of very forgettable songs and I’ve yet to find one of which that leaps out and impresses me. I fear this album does not near do justice to the talent we’ve seen from this group and I’d suggest it will do nothing to further the success and bring more people into the Mother Mother fold.

    • Thank you for your honesty! I was initially disappointed with it as well, as I’ve said. It’s funny how we get our hopes up so high for great bands releasing new albums and then they seem to all too often, disappoint. I know that I will be disappointed by several album releases this year, likely by Sam Roberts Band (I have really high hopes), My Morning Jacket (SUPER high hopes) among others.
      Thanks for your comment! I hope another band will redeem your disappointment with this album 🙂

  2. I enjoyed several tracks off their previous album for their energy and a production style that was slick but also somewhat raw (not to mention the sweet harmonies). Their is a fine line between well-produced and over-produced however, and I feel like their newest album is more the latter – the rawness they once exhibited has been homogenized resulting in an album that sounds an awful lot like canadian alt-rock albums of the late-nineties/early 2000s (I Mother Earth, Our Lady Peace, Econoline Crush, etc.) Certainly well done, but where is the danger?

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