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Mar 31, 2011
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It's never been easy to define 'indie' in the realm of music. It's never a specific genre, unlike, for instance, metal with its shredding and heavy guitars.

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Or hardcore and its moshpit-inspiring breakdowns; or you know, house music and its slightly infamous stugstugs assault.

For the purpose of this review though, for Mother Mother's Eureka, we'll go with the definition that 'indie' is something that goes against the grain, surprising your ears with something new.

Naysayers always tell you that everything in music has really all been done before. And to be totally honest, it's hard to argue with that.

In fact, Eureka celebrates that fact as well. The album builds upon a strong foundation of pop hooks, playful, upbeat percussions, powerful, driving rhythm guitars, and catchy, quirky lyrics.

Indeed, you've heard it all before, but this five-piece Vancouver indie-rock outfit manages to surprise and excite as they put their own subtle twists on the elements we just mentioned.

It's definitely not the biggest sin to say that they're currently one of the best indie rock bands out there, though they're admittedly still obscure in this part of the world.

"Commonplace things seem to have great have significance," the album opens with a statement. The drums, the guitars then kick in, and just as you're starting to bob your head to the instruments in the album opener "Chasing It Down," vocalist Ryan Guldemond gets into it quick, drawing you in with his boyish voice and flowing lyrical style.

The first song alone showcases the band's signature strengths: the vocal harmonies, the unceremonious breaks, the energy of the keyboard and synth fills, and of course, the overall intensity. And the intensity doesn't let up with the next few songs, "The Stand," "Baby Don't Dance," and "Original Spin," all of which are something that you'd listen to if you need a pick-me-upper. This is a band that's, to put things simply, just having fun with it. 

Here's a video of the first single off the album:



The quintet tones it down a bit with "Born In A Flash," with mixed results. The harmonies and melody still reel you in but the lyrics which talk about photos being "a portrait of the past," and "a little piece of the past" are a little uninspired.

Fortunately, "Simply Simple," a midtempo song, pulls you out of the dreariness quick. The lyrics are somber: "Take me lightly, I am not the way I ought to be I'm just the way I got to be. Take me slowly, or else you may come by injury. I'll hurt you emotionally." What separates this song from the previous one is that it ain't cheesy.

There has always been an element of dreamy gloominess in the band's writing; you just don't feel right away because of the overall "good morning sunshine!" vibe of their music. "Problems" is a perfect example. The head-bobbing music is there, while the lyrics go "You and me, we're not the same. I am a sinner, you are a saint. When we get to the pearly gates. You'll get the green light. I'll get the old door in the face."

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The melody makes you imagine the singer hitting the notes with a wide smile on his face, but the lyrics makes you think otherwise. This is one of the qualities of Mother Mother that make them endearing.

In "Getaway" we see the band going for a gentle, and very, very dreamy approach. Molly Guldemond (the keyboardist and back-up vocalist) takes center stage on this one, but it's the lyrics that really make you want to listen to it over and over again: "In a dream, on a wave. I could tunnel underground, or I could float away. From it all, on a holiday. Bon voyage, I want to get away from all I know." It's perfect for all those times that you're looking for a little, ahem, sojourn.  

"Calm Me Down" ends the album perfectly. Ignore the title; the song's like a kid who's had too much sugar for his own good, and ends with the vocalist screaming: "I want to scream eureka! I want to scream eureka!" Why he wants to scream eureka, he doesn't reveal, but that's another thing about indie bands right? They like to confuse you.

Whatever his reasons are though, what we know is we don't have a lot of reasons why music lovers shouldn't listen to Mother Mother's Eureka, or for that matter, their previous two albums, 2007's Touch Up and 2008's O My Heart. A great new find for indie lovers.

WORDS BY: GELO GONZALES

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