The Sticks

Mother Mother

Last Gang Records, 2012

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


The five-piece Vancouver-based alternative noise pop band known as Mother Mother has returned with their fourth record. Over the years, their reputation has continually grown with each successive release. With The Sticks, that reputation looks to grow even bigger.

Starting off with the intro “Omen,” the whole album takes a dark turn while managing to stay menacing and creepy yet hopeful at the same time. The title track is very interesting, almost dirge-like; it sounds tailor-made for rock radio or to appear on some hip blog. The band is very aware of what they can do, and while they’re willing to experiment and try some different stuff, they mostly stick to what they know.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

One thing that definitely stands out on this record is the vocal interplay between guitarist and leader/producer/main songwriter Ryan Guldemond, synth player Molly Guldemond, and keyboardist Jasmin Parker. The way the three weave and interconnect is an interesting thing indeed, sometimes sounding Silversun Pickups but with a higher vocal register. The first single “Let’s Fall In Love” is a perfect example of this.

The band encounters a few bumps in the road and they’re extremely noticeable, particularly on “Businessman,” which never seems to go anywhere and is probably the least compelling track here. Fortunately, there are enough stronger moments to make up for the weaker ones. Immediately following “Businessman” is “Dread In My Heart,” which comes across like a little folk detour through the village of noise and harmonies. It works to counterbalance the rest of the material and is pleasant on the ears.

“Bit By Bit” is without a doubt the best track on the disc. It contains fantastic vocals and a good beat that sounds like mid ‘90s industrial thrown into a blender with smiley pop from the ‘60s. That’s another good thing about this band; they seemingly love wearing their influences on their sleeves. “Love It Dissipates,” an acoustic number with weird and eerie sounds, is probably the second strongest track on the record .The band definitely knows their way around strange and creepy, but they do it so well you almost forget it’s strange. Unfortunately, the closing track, “To The Wild” is the weakest link and would’ve worked better somewhere towards the middle of the record or as a B-side.

Ultimately, The Sticks finds the band bringing some new things to the table and making something to really be proud of.

Rating: B-

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