Up From Underground: Mother Mother


As more scene-savvy readers are no doubt aware, America’s neighbors to the North have started playing rough and tumble with U.S. rockers, giving even our strongest contenders a real run for their riffage. Several years ago, acts like Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, and The New Pornographers rose to the top of the college-rock charts with records as innovative and expansive as anything we’d seen from Uncle Sam. The question everyone’s asking: can they keep it up? Just when it seemed the Canadian wellspring had run dry, another potential indie powerhouse comes into its own.

With the recent release of Mother Mother’s O My Heart, the previously obscure act mimics radio warriors like the Killers at their popiest and underground spazzers Man Man in their most clomp-stomp moments. Singer Ryan Guldermond leads the Canadian five-piece in each of its seemingly disparate incarnations, courting indie-electro shudders in songs like “Body of Years,” before squawking to high heaven in Danielson/Man Man ditties like “Burning Pile.” His backing band, meanwhile, coos and caas, as acoustic strums meet, heavy bass, piano clunks, horns, and sultry stings. In person the band is even more energetic, shaking out their frenzied rhythms and romps like televangelists sermonizing from a circus stampede.

That’s not to say that America should be worried about losing its lock; just don’t be surprised when the Boss starts ending his sentences in “eh?”.

Listen: “Body of Years” by Mother Mother