Mothers are the latest in a long and illustrious line of Indie bands from Athens, Georgia, with their hipsteriffically titled debut When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired. While they have many things going for them, not least their fantastic singer, the album could benefit from a little more editing and a more focused direction.
The opener, the ukulele tinged “Too Small for Eyes,” is straight down the line folk, replete with a violin chorus. It’s a gorgeous song, although I must say the lyrics were a little too general for my taste; all angst with no specific focus. However the music was great and Kristine Leschper’s voice would be gripping if she was reading the ingredients from a cereal packet.
The next two tracks completely eschew the earnest folk mode and instead go for earnest guitar driven pop, with “It Hurts Until it Doesn’t” and “Copper Mines”. The sound on these songs is quite interesting – they’re slow, psychedelic-tinged jams with a very fuzzy guitar sounds. Leschper’s voice again holds all of the elements of the songs together, although again my criticism is that the group isn’t bringing too much to the table lyrically – the lives of 20-something white people have been chronicled a lot in Indie music, and this album doesn’t bring a particularly new perspective.
The album basically veers between these psychedelic pop numbers and full on folk songs. While this isn’t a bad thing (after all Neil Young’s entire career can be seen in these terms), it does mean that the album is not particularly cohesive musically. All of the instrumental elements fit together on a song by song basis but as an album, the only musical through line is Leschper’s voice.
The standout for me is “Hold Your Own Hand”, a musically complex song that goes through a number of phases, held together by other of Leschper’s yearning and pleasantly meandering vocal deliveries. There is lots of potential in Mothers, but this LP gives the impression of being somewhat underbaked – just a few lyrical rewrites and a bit of musical editing and this could be a very promising group.
Review Score: 7.3 out of 10.
When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired is out now.