"State Your Intention"

(Roaming Gnome Records 2002)Mother - State Your Intention

Made of gentle, crooning vocals and music made of both dreamy, melodic moments and more involved, rhythmic ones, Mother's "State Your Intention" takes you back, stylistically, to The Smiths' "The Queen Is Dead." Josh Zampino's drumming fills the songs subtly, without assaulting the listener, as singer/guitarist and sometimes bassist Tim Macauley's vocals travel everywhere, falsetto one moment and low the next. And after a couple listens, you find yourself humming along to the band's songs with their "secret" catchiness.

Mother opens the album with a title that, ironically, sounds like a bit of maternal advice, "Patience Ignites The Cherry Blossoms," with its nonstop guitar riff, is a lively song which catches your attention and leads into the slower and more melodic "Shattered." Picking up the pace, both "This View of Life" and the instrumental "Reillusioned," use more involved, quicker instrumentation that leans more towards guitar rock with both songs featuring more in the way of drumming than previous tracks. With a nice guitar intro, "Something Is Amiss" opens with vocals unlike any of the album's other songs and sounds more than a little like soft rock throughout.

Sounding more like guitar rock, "Lost In A Helix" uses distortion on Macauley's racing vocals: "I have a song/It's based on you/I'm squeezed for room/And all you have is you/Only you." "Time of a Beauty," meanwhile, is a slow and dreamy ballad. "Who Speaks For God" is full of rhythm but slower while "Wednesday James," with its attempt at harder rock, shows the bands willingness to take chances. Mother close the album with the kitschy cool "Alpha," a song about a space station launched by several nations which starts with ground station dialogue which leads into the edgy rock that only sidelines once for a slow interlude section. Talking politics in the first two-thirds of the song, "Alpha" is finished off on more of a "lifestyle" foot "“ "Is this all just a porthole view?/Do our countries even fight up there too?/And do the windows ever get steamy?/What's it like to love in zero-G?/Making love, above, the world and a star/Rockin' on Alpha."

With a tight album throughout most of "State Your Intention," Mother has more than enough good music to win your attention and repeated listens. Strong with memorable melodies, the album grows on you with each listen as it combines old and new rock influences. And with their sometimes silly lyrics or crazy vocals, you know Mother is not taking themselves too seriously.


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