Weird is as wonderful as ever on Mother Mother’s latest release.
The Sticks is the Vancouver-based quintet’s fourth album and the second in as many years. Sticks is more of a notable evolution of the group’s sound than a departure from previous releases, with the quintessential absurdity of sound and unexpected harmonies fans have come to know and love evenly dispersed throughout.
Infectious enough to make it hard not to take Mother Mother up on their offer, the first single “Let’s Fall in Love” has been garnering a fair amount of airplay on local radio stations, akin to the band’s burgeoning following in and around Vancouver.
“The Omen” is a multi-vocal layered, piano-heavy introduction that sets the scene as the first of 14 tracks rich with lyrical introspection.
The album as a whole has an otherworldly quality to it, with recurring themes of retreating to the woods (aka The Sticks), the perception-altering that comes from realizing our individual insignificance in the grand scheme of the universe and the futility that lies in chasing happiness and money.
Both the plodding, almost haunting title track and “Bit By Bit” speak to the flight mentality of leaving the everyday behind for a simpler life, as well as of lead singer Ryan Guldemond’s (at least narrational) desire to find a pretty Wiccan woman to shack up with in those secluded woods, while “Infinitesimal” takes the obvious opportunity to explore the trivialness of being just a spec in the cosmos.
“Businessman” (which sounds not unlike something Modest Mouse would produce) and “Happy” eschew the typical seeking many urbanites especially are prone to – corporate ladder climbing and chasing after happiness as if it were a cure-all, one-stop-shop solution to the ails and pitfalls intrinsic of everyday life.
“Dread in My Heart” offered the most laugh-evoking lyric at first blush on the album: “[W]henever I begin to feel/Like I might be deranged/ I remember there’s a little shitty devil in my brain,” an absurdly relatable sentiment if ever there was one.
Mother Mother are celebrating today’s (September 18) release of The Sticks with a free all ages acoustic set at Zulu Records (1972 W. 4 Avenue) from 6 to 7 p.m., with an autograph session to follow.