(Sophomore Lounge)

I've stalled on sending in this review for New Mother Nature's "2" because it's very good and there's a lot to write about. New Mother Nature combine folk, whiskey drenched drunk dive bar blues, head nodding punk beats, delta blues, electric keyboards and what I'd call teamwork to make this fantastic, diverse release. There's no gimmicks. It's stripped down rock and roll, so stripped down some songs don't even rely on distortion pedals to sound bad ass. What is most impressive is they are able to represent or pay homage to just about EVERY TYPE of stripped down rock without it sounding contrived. The drums can drive like in post-punk (even at times diving into pop-punk swinging beats), but at the same time they're played behind harmonized vocals you'd hear from last waltzers "the Band". The vocals cathartically narrate bad times; abandoned children, being left out in the cold, broken arms, etc. The cassette has the melodrama of the best Bonnie Prince Billy bitter ballads. They also get so close to their roots the guitars start finger picking over simple tambourine melodies, emulating an old time delta blues rag. In the end I guess some dingus pitchfork reviewer would categorize this as a whole as "alt-rock"?

Ok, time out, I'm butchering this review. As an audience you must be confused... I've mentioned everything from pop-punk to delta blues rag, you must be saying what the crap is this guy talking about. I know! I know! Why is it so easy for me to write a bad review and so hard for me to write a good review?

Well, maybe I can help myself out by comparing it to bad music. SO. My significant other is managing and doing the finances for a warped tour act and as a result I got free tickets to the festival, backstage passes, beer, ribs, etc. It was just about the most rock star I've ever felt minus the huge fruit bowl of cocaine.

The bands playing there for the most part were casualties to our post-modern times. You'd hear about four measures of metalcore drop d dingus beats where every member of the band is treating their instrument like percussion, but then the genre would switch to eight majors of what can be categorized as radio rap. Then for 8 measures it sounded like Justin Timberlake. Then it went back to metalcore. While this is arguably a forward thinking approach to music, the music does not CONGEAL like a frittata or a soup. Rather, it is the equivalent of eating a jalapeno, followed by a donut followed by a grapefruit.

New Mother Nature is more like a frittata. Lots of ingredients are added to make something new. The sounds and influences CONVERGE; they aren't just lined up next to each other.

The result is very satisfying. the cassette is challenging while also remaining accessible. Sophomore Lounge, which is run out of Louisville, KY, is a record label to be on the lookout for and this cassette does not disappoint.

Check it out!

-- Jack Turnbull