Edgy formulaic vocal driven pop for the masses, Quadra Island BC natives Mother Mother release their sixth album of radio friendly fare in ten years. Surprisingly, the three most interesting tracks on the record were left off of the album proper and released exclusively through the deluxe CD version. These three tracks stray from the formula and are given a chance to breath outside of the strict confines of preordained structure, free from the commerciality trap. Perhaps this is Ryan Guldemond’s way of letting us know there’s an inevitable solo album on the horizon?
Rock n roll godhead crooner Jim Morrison is alive and well and inhabiting the body of Orwells lead singer Mario Cuomo. This fact is never more true than in “They Put A Body In The Bayou”, the kick ass opening track to The Orwells 3rd LP Terrible Human Beings. Double-tracking his limited low to mid range vocal swoon through these 2 and a half minute nuggets of hip shaking guitar driven psychpop brings to mind more the youthful wide eyed electric innocence of 1967’s The Doors (“Soul Kitchen”, “Twentieth Century Fox”) than the world weary blues of 27 Club alumnus Mr. Mojo Rising at his untimely end. A fitting soundtrack for the coming 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, 2.0 style.
Media darlings The xx have delivered their third album in 8 years to practically universal acclaim. Their second album to top the UK album charts at #1 not to mention debuting in the US at #2 in the Billboard 200, reviews from mainstream publications are giving this album an average score of 85 out of 100. But all that and and a bag of chips don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. The promise of dance floor friendly opening track Dangerous quickly dissipates into nine remaining tracks which, for the most part, amble along quietly in the most unassuming and uninspired fashion, varying very little in tempo and instrumentation which is sparse and flat at best. Sure the Annie Lennox/Tracey Thorn inspired vocals are pleasant enough and there’s some nice production work on the back up vocals, notably on tracks Say Something Loving & On Hold but that in itself is not enough to sustain any serious interest. Perhaps Public Enemy summed it up best when they declared “Don’t believe the hype”.
A classic rock smorgasbord of prog influenced slickly produced hard edged modern pop with the bravado of Queen (It Comes As No Surprise) the anthemic radio friendly hooks of ’70’s era Journey and Boston (One Good Piece Of Me) the riff bashing swagger of Zeppelin (Tomorrow Down, Digging In) and the disco experimentations of The Stones (You Don’t Even Know).