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Mothers — Render Another Ugly Method (Sept. 7, 2018)

Mothers — Render Another Ugly Method (Sept. 7, 2018)

       Mothers — Render Another Ugly Method (Sept. 7, 2018)Mothers — Render Another Ugly Method (Sept. 7, 2018)✹    Not always uplifting, but it consistently delivers. Kristine Leschper~led indie rock group marked by intimacy, atmosphere, and exploration.
Formed: 2013 in Athens, GA
Location: Athens, GA
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Alternative Singer~Songwriter
Album release: September 7, 2018
Record Label: Anti/Epitaph
Duration:     57:14
Tracks:
01 Beauty Routine     3:15 
02 Pink     6:50 
03 It Is a Pleasure to Be Here     5:15 
04 Blame Kit     4:14 
05 Baptist Trauma     3:19 
06 Western Medicine     5:34 
07 Circle Once     4:56 
08 Mutual Agreement     5:40 
09 Mother and Wife     7:53 
10 Wealth Center/Risk Capital     4:15 
11 Fat Chance     6:02
AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson; Score: ***½
✹    The second album from Kristine Leschper’s idiosyncratic indie rock project Mothers, Render Another Ugly Method already represents a marked stylistic expansion just two years after the band’s debut. With production by Grammy winner John Congleton, whose well~established résumé includes such elite alt artists as St. Vincent, Alvvays, and Angel Olsen, it ventures away from a haunting, forlorn folk~rock into a more ambitious exploration of structure, rhythm, and emotional malaise. Borrowing from experimental figures including the Fall, Fred Frith, Harmonia, and Lizzy Mercier Descloux, just a few of the musicians Leschper cited as post~debut discoveries and influences on the album, it still carries the ethereal quality and distinct intimacy of Mothers’ prior work. The album opens with the spare, plodding — one could argue thematically mind~numbing — „Beauty Routine.“ Echoing guitar tones and interjected snare, toms, and cymbal accompany Leschper’s deadpan, half~spoken howl until the tempo picks up halfway through as the drums settle into a rhythm and the lyrics become more motivated to perform „extreme forms of distraction.“ Not entirely compliant, however, she closes the song with the words „Show me a beauty routine to erase me completely.“ The track that follows, „Pink,“ contrasts with racing bass and drums as it sets a scene in the back seat of a car. After detached vocals drop out, the last couple minutes of the nearly seven~minute track surge into feedback and distortion. As the rest of the album continues in kind, trading arid, unsettled soundscapes and aggressive, sometimes hyperkinetic ones, its syncopated rhythms, overlapping guitar lines, and dissonance consistently trump melody and form. For that reason, it’s a challenging album, especially at close to an hour in length. It’s one that holds its share of fascination, however, with its alternately biting and poetic lyrics, persistent ache, and unpredictable patterns that are still discernable if often transient.
Eric R. Danton
✹    Sharp edges prevail on Mothers’ second album, Render Another Ugly Method. It’s a collection of songs connected more by the strength of Kristine Leschper’s creative vision than any kind of sonic thread — unless you count the air of claustrophobia the Philadelphia via Athens, GA indie rockers build into an almost palpable force. These songs disorient by design, and are full of stuttering drums and guitar parts that veer from sinuous to tangled as Leschper considers power dynamics, and digs into a fascination with what it means to inhabit a body. In her world, bodies seem to differ in size based on context, and she longs for the day when she can live without having a body at all.
✹    That’s a lot to take in, but Mothers aren’t offering definitive answers so much as exploring ideas through abstract, seemingly stream~of~consciousness lyrics. If you want to come along, the more the merrier. Just don’t be surprised when things get uncomfortable — and they will. “Blame Kit” races along like an over~caffeinated heartbeat, while “Western Medicine” twists and turns its way through knotty musical passages that eventually crumble into unstructured chimes of guitar and the booming thud of a drum. The scraping guitar riff on “Baptist Trauma” mostly lurks behind a clattering stop-start beat, occasionally lurching into the foreground while Leschper’s multi-tracked vocals unfold in a slow, measured cadence that never quite floats free of the turmoil surrounding her voice. The effect is unsettling, but not as much as the awkward desire she evokes on “Pink.” Here, Leschper sings over a swift, bass-heavy musical drone that chugs along for more than five minutes before dissolving into chaotic bursts of distortion. Amid the noisy elements, there are moments of quieter unease. “Mother and Wife” broods darkly, with a distant effects~treated guitar winding slowly through a synthesizer miasma. Opener “Beauty Routine” starts with murmuring vocals over gauzy, restrained accompaniment before building into something bigger and bolder. Though Render Another Ugly Method can sound haphazard at times, it’s an illusion: these songs are meticulously intentional, and often downright mesmerizing to hear.
TIMMY MICHALIK, RATING: 4 STARS
✹    http://diymag.com/2018/09/07/mothers-render-another-ugly-method-album-review
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Mothers — Render Another Ugly Method (Sept. 7, 2018)

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