Monday, February 21, 2011

Mother And Son - Mother And Son

Mother And Son
Mother And Son
Impedance Records/Various Distribution

Looking at the cover of their sophomore self titled full-length effort, it’s hard to picture exactly what sort of music to expect from Wollongong (New South Wales) based duo Mother And Son. But if there is a clue, it’s the cover art’s rather dark and grim depiction of a remote station out in the middle of nowhere. And in a lot of ways, that’s rather befitting of Mother And Son’s sound. Residing somewhere between The Cramps, Link Wray and The White Stripes, Mother And Son (Who are vocalist/guitarist/bassist/organist Bodie Jarman and drummer/percussionist Matman Teudt) have a sound that is part ‘60’s surf rock, part garage rock and part deep south blues.
The opening instrumental piece ‘Mosquito’ is a short scene setting intro that establishes the band’s template in the sound sense, with the huge twanging guitar sounds married perfectly in front of a no-nonsense dirty rocking rhythm section. While their influences are clearly evident throughout the track, there’s something in the song’s delivery and the infectious nature of the music itself that makes the whole thing stand a little left of the obvious centre.
Without so much as a break, the pair launch into the up-tempo and energetic follow up instrumental rocker ‘Dengue Fever’. It isn’t until the third track ‘Dead Yellow Moon’ (Which was originally premiered on the band’s split seven inch single release with The Yard Apes in 2010) that Jarman produces the final piece of the Mother And Son sound, with his vocal presence sounding like a mix of a raspy and howling blues feel mixed with a decidedly rockabilly influence. It’s an odd combination, but one that definitely fits in with the band’s rather strange hybrid sound.
The darker lyrical narrative overtones within ‘The Hanging Tree’ more than match the equally up-tempo feel of the music itself, earning itself the honour of being one of the album’s stronger cuts, while the cool swagger of ‘Creature From The Swamp’, the droning delivery of ‘It Won’t Be Long’ (Which is the album’s official first single), the familiar sounding groove of the instrumental ‘Surfswing’ and ‘Johnny Boy’ are the definite highlights from the remainder of the album.
It’s dead easy to pick out the individual influences heard within Mother And Son’s music, but it’s the way they assemble those obvious influences that make them sound just that much more appealing than you would initially expect after a first listen.
Not everything on Mother And Son’s latest album is killer (One example is the rather lengthy ‘Redcoats’, which well and truly overstays its welcome), but there’s enough here on the duo’s latest album that works a treat, which makes this well worth checking out.

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© Justin Donnelly