Mother Mother The Sticks

Mother MotherThe Sticks
After a mere year-and-a-half away, Quad Island quintet Mother Mother are back with their fourth full-length. The Sticks possesses a sense of lyrical and musical abrasiveness that hasn't been explored in Mother Mother's previous output. More synth, and an electronic component, helps cleanse the group of any remains of their folk-pop past and drive them more into rock territory. The quirky art-pop is still very much apparent, but it's constrained behind a newfound edge. The album begins with driving guitar riffs and electronic elements, yet softens halfway through. "Dread in My Heart" is most reminiscent of Mother Mother's previous work; it's a soft acoustic ballad with that same tongue-in-cheek lyrical slyness (think a tame, pop version of the Violent Femmes). Strangely, first single "Let's Fall in Love" isn't indicative of the album's style, dabbling with that harder rock edge and pulling out all the stops with electronics and cute lyrics, sounding quite unlike anything else here. The band's grasp of hooks that stick with you for days has faded slightly, but has been replaced by a more musically progressive direction that will see them transforming into a whole new monster with their ensuing album, predictably coming out within the next year. (Last Gang)