“The Celebration of Light. But don’t forget about the darkness. The darkness is where art is created.” This is a paraphrase of Mother Mother’s lead singer, Ryan Guldemond, at the Vancouver band’s free concert preceding the final night of fireworks at Vancouver’s annual Celebration of Light. It’s a three-country competition held in early August each year on a Sat-Wed-Sat schedule. This year, England, Canada, and Thailand each had a night to fire 25 minutes of -works set to music off a barge in English Bay.
I usually watch the show from farther away, but this time I was lured into the hoard of beach blankets and stumbling drunks to watch Mother Mother’s free show. I admit that it took me a while to get into this band. Not because of their sometimes dissonant lyrical delivery (that I have also learned to love), but because their name reminded me of I Mother Earth: a band that I will forever loathe because their song, “Summertime in the Void,” ruined one of the Big Shiny Tunes compilations of my youth. I forgave lead-singer Edwin because of his solo effort “Alive,” but bands with the word “mother” in them were still blacklisted.
Mother Mother’s “Wrecking Ball” changed that. I “gotta wanna be a battering ram” rang through my head at the most unrelated moments for the last few years.
And then came their latest album The Sticks.
If you read my review / literary analysis of Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, then you’re probably aware of my love of an album that has a driving theme throughout that makes it a complete work of art rather than a random collection of songs. The Sticks is such a concept album. Continue reading