Mother Mother is an indie rockband hailing from Vancouver initially started by Ryan Guldemond and his sister Molly. Their second album O My Heart has been gaining them great critical acclaim since the fall of 2008. On the self-titled album (add an exclamation point) Telekinesis consists of sole band member Michael Lerner, who is joined by Chris Staples and siblings Joanie and David Broecker while on tour. The album was produced by the legendary Chris Walla, which speaks volumes about this very energetic up and comer. Spork Kills also goes by the name Louis Logic, or Louis Dorley if we want to get technical. This artist combines hip-hop and surf rock for a unique sound that wins over the most skeptical of music fans. Black Gold is the multi-instrumental duo of Eric Ronick and Than Luu. Having released their debut album Rush in February, they are set to tour this summer with All Points West highlighted as a major stop. Young rap artists Evenodds are represented by M-A and D.E.O. Based out of San Francisco the life-long friends started creating music together in middleschool and released album Been Official last year.
“Plans & Reveries”
Eh. I’m finding this to be pretty generic. Was it just me, or did anyone else think of The Fray as they were listening to this? The video even looks similar to what The Fray has done. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s bad by any means. The piano is incredibly beautiful and it’s an instrument I am partial too. I also think Eric Ronick has a lovely voice. But I am not finding myself particularly excited to take a listen. I wouldn’t switch the radio station, but I don’t think I would ever get to know it well enough where I could sing along with the chorus.
“Gettin’ Money All Day”
Yawn. If they’re getting money all day, I hope they got paid for all that subliminal advertising we are being subjected to with this video. Did Vitamin Water and Gucci cut this guy a check? I hope so. This is absolutely nothing we haven’t seen or heard before unfortunately. It’s following the standard rap video right down to the piles of cash and frankly, I expect more.
“O My Heart”
While the lyrics of this song are intensely repetitive, I like the way they are elevated and made much more effective by the video. There is something potent about the way the fish are being cut and scattered across the floor while Ryan Guldemond is quite literally singing about one’s heart being ripped out and cast aside. I am also enjoying the way his sister and Jasmin Parkin’s vocals provide a sort of sweetness to his robotic and rather harsh style. It’s a nice intermingling of contrast. Also, I like how the kids are dressed-up as creepy pantomime players, almost as if there are simply going through the motions of a love-affair instead of actually experiencing it. The lyrics are a tad over dramatic and it seems as if the band is very conscious of this fact heightening their choice with this effect. Overall, this is pretty solid. I might not have liked the song on its own but am rather enjoying it now.
“Night of the Hip ‘N Dead”
I have to admit, I’m automatically wary when people start talking about crossing and mixing genres and it’s not because I don’t applaud their effort or even commend it. It’s just an incredibly tricky situation and one that is difficult to pull off. That being said, it’s strikingly appropriate that the video opens by focusing on a misfit. Spork Kills is a rock-rap crossover that I can really get behind – blending quick lyrics with a dark beat in a way that just… works. While the high school premise is not a particularly unique basis for a video, the way in which is descends into a weird zombie B-movie is strange and weird and quirky. Totally befitting of the artist.
I dig this video because it looks like it could have been made by one of my friends on a trip to Japan. Albeit, one of my friend’s who knows a thing or two about production, but when you work at MTV you tend to know people like that. Granted we have another repetitive song on the Freshmen this week, but the buzzy amplified guitar really gives it a kick and makes it feel immediate and important. You want to pay attention to the way it’s being emphasized. Michael Lerner plays the goofball in his own video which is always something that finds me overjoyed. Who wants to watch people taking themselves seriously? The inclusion of objects we associate with Japan like sushi and Godzilla (way to stereotype America!) interspersed with cute almost diorama-like interpretations of the trip, make the video clever and fun and relatable even if you have not traveled to this particular country. It’s like hearing a very interesting friend describe their adventures. You want to start packing your bag and head out on your own.
So my pick for this week… it’s a tough one. Although I am completely taken-aback by how much I like Spork Kills, my penchant for indie rock wins out and thus my top choice is Telekinesis. That video makes me smile. Although I would ultimately like to see these two artists duke it out the whole week so get behind them and VOTE.