In celebration of the 10th anniversary of their sophomore album O My Heart, Mother Mother dropped in on Lee’s Palace for the first of 4 sold out retellings of perhaps their most famous record.
Opening for Mother Mother was Little Destroyer, a 3 piece from Vancouver that was a complete unknown for me. It immediately became clear that the tagline “YNGPNXWTHNOTHNTODO” (“Young punks with nothing to do”) that adorns their website was completely accurate – this was punk music, through and through, though not like I’m used to hearing. Laden over thick synth lines, echoey drum machines, and lush backing vocals, lead singer Allie Sheldan’s fiery demeanor set a new standard for modern punk. Electropunk? Punktronic? I don’t know what fits best, but these folks were clearly operating in (and owning) a space of their own.
After a mind-blowing outro, Little Destroyer vacated the stage to make way for the main act. The setlist was simple, as they announced after a song or two: They were going to play the entirety of O My Heart, front to back, in order. This was a first for me, but a happy one. O My Heart is an incredible album, where bouncy electropop singles like “Hayloft” can be found buried next to heavy, downtempo tracks like “Ghosting”. All in all, it is absolutely a story worth telling. This handful of offbeat love songs captured the hearts of indie rocking Canadian’s in the late aughts, and the band did an outstanding job bringing new life to the tracks. Two virtuoso guitar solos from Ryan Guldemond added a nice touch to “Body of Years” and “Arms Tonite” and the playful banter littered throughout the set kept things lively and entertaining.
For the encore (or “longcore”, as they called it), the band busted out some tracks from other albums, including two audience suggestions of “Ball Cap” and “Dirty Town” from their debut record, Touch Up. The 8 song encore felt short – jam packed with some of their biggest singles, it was like getting the opportunity to experience the band all over again, in a completely different light. Prior to “Dread in my Heart”, Ryan invited two folks on stage from the crowd, and they got engaged right then and there. The crowd went nuts for the extremely heartwarming moment.
All in all, it was a fantastic evening, and not one I’ll soon forget. Here’s to hoping we might see more of these from Mother Mother (and other bands) – there’s some great albums out there that deserve it.
O My Heart
Body of Years
Try to Change
Dread in my Heart
Bit by Bit