by Matt Kelchner
On the heels of releasing their stellar debut album When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired earlier this year, Athens, GA group Mothers descended upon Philadelphia on Thursday. In front of a filled Johnny Brenda’s, they impressed with heavy hitting versions of material from their recent record. Along for the ride were locals Anomie and New York’s Palm.
While busy recording and prepping the upcoming album from Field Mouse, singer/songwriter Rachel Browne has quietly worked on a side project under the name Anomie. The band features a rotating lineup of musicians, sans Browne and her drummer, for now. With only a couple of shows under their belt, Anomie played like the opposite. Their mix of bedroom pop and ’90s, buzzing college rock provided a great warm up for the night. Fingers crossed we hear more from Anomie!
Four piece group Palm make their living using dissonant and diminished notes to create mathy, angular art punk. Often dueling guitars danced between on and off beat rhythms on top of busy drumlines and pounding basslines, all the while vocals drenched in a chorus-y haze float above. Their abstract interpretation of rock turned heads on Thursday night. Come the end of the night, it’s easy to say that they had won over a number of new fans.
Mothers walk along the fine line between moving, intimate folk and and soaring, sprawling rock a la the likes of Daughter and Torres. When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired is a collection of well crafted songs that frontman and songwriter Kristine Leschper uses to offer up deeply personal moments from her life. On record, tracks range from rootsy to full on rock, but on stage Thursday nights the energy and intensity brought out a new level in the music.
For much of the night, When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired was put on full display. “Copper Mine” and “Hold Your Own Hand” were featured early on in the set. Later on, “Lockjaw” and “It Hurts Until it Doesn’t” made their way into the set. Despite only have one album to their name, Mothers were not limited to just that. “Fat Chance”, a non album that’s only exists in demo form and live recordings, was thrown in. Sandwiched in the middle was a cover of Glenn Frey’s “The Heat Is On”. After finished “Burden of Proof”, the band left the stage for Leschper to close out the night with “No Crying In Baseball” (another non album track).
In the beginning of what is sure to be a long and healthy career, Mothers came out swinging at Johnny Brenda’s. The strong songwriting coupled with their incredible live performances leave us wanting more from the young Athens upstarts.