Indie Math rock. Three words that can spread panic and fear like “ It’s your kid” and “Blood in faeces” . Back packs, mad time signatures and moshing bans come to mind. “Is this music, is this art? Why is the milka cow lilac?” You know the score. Or do you?
From Another Mother from Zagreb have just released their second album ATATOA (no I don’t know what it means). Now on German label Kapitan Platte.
The trio’s blurb makes mention of Biffy Clyro, DEP and And So I watch you From Afar. For me ATATOA evokes memories of early Pavement, Primus – without the mad bass, and the long forgotten This Girl that turned a few heads in the early noughties alongside EMO OG’s such as Airplanes Mistaken For Stars.
From the quirky nerd math of opener May From Another Mother wear Beta signs proudly on their tight t-shirts. Jazzy paradiddles, stop start, stop start, dreamy guitar lines and spiralling high note basslines. This is Marmite music. You either get on board and unleash your inner coffee shop dweller or you can stomp off for something more straightforward and visceral. I decided to hang around and see how things develop. The tubby middle aged man at the loft party.
It is a little clichéd and I have a feeling that I have seen it all played out before, but, the emotion that FAM (yes fam ya get me) evoke is very real. Supernova is a delightful passage that gives a bubbly yet ethereal air. Perfect dreamspace pop. First Things First that follows is Coheed and Cambria with extra prog noodling and the dreamscape is broken. Walnut is a little too whiny for me and reminds me why I could never get fully on board with Weezer, though the bass is groovy.
I Will Atone is a delightful mix of quirky alt pop a la PUSA and funky blues rock, the use of feedback punctuating the riffs to great effect. Calling track six Song Number 9 pleases me as I have a thing about the two numbers and I am with Hendrix on the “if six was nine “thing. The track itself has some nice distorted riffs and a progtastic verse. Slightly Wrong and Keep Your Head both keep the quirk going and there is a fair drop of rock juice in the latter track a lil bit Groundhogs and 13th Floor Elevators to add spice to the candy floss. Final track Baited drops in some grunge and ups the pace but ultimately reminds me of all the also rans that followed Aussie youngsters Silverchair down the proto Seattle path in the mid 90’s.
Overall this is an enjoyable geeky romp with plenty of twists and turns and the one standout space stonker of Supernova. Unfortunately, with every meandering path the destination needs to be as exciting as the journey and I am not sure that From Another Mother have decided where that is yet.
(6.5/10 Matt Mason)