October 29, 2018 Mother Feather – Constellation Baby (Album Review)
If there is one thing New York City has an abundance of it’s diversity. A melting pot of cultures, no two neighborhoods are alike and neither are the bands that sprout from their pavement. From the underground Punk Rock scene of the ’70s, spawning legends such as Ramones and Blondie, to the golden age of Hip Hop, seeing Beastie Boys rise to the top, to modern times where a little band called Mother Feather look to make their own mark, each are NYC in their own way.
Dating back to 2009, Mother Feather are a Rock-n-Roll outfit that takes on the eclectic cultured favor of the very city they came up in. Making an impact on the local scene, they played in and around the New York City before striking a record deal with Metal Blade Records. Releasing their debut self-titled album on the predominantly Heavy Metal roster of Metal Blade back in 2016, Mother Feather are the sort of white pony of the bunch, seeing the Californian based label dare to sign different bands as they once did back in the day with acts like one-time Punk rockers Goo Goo Dolls. Now a bit more established, Mother Feather are back with their sophomore LP, Constellation Baby, on Friday, November 2, 2018.
Assuming many have not heard of Mother Feather beyond the New York City scene, or maybe just know the name by hearsay, this band is not all that easy to categorize. A good thing, in a time where there are so many sound-a-like artists floating around the airwaves with little distinction between them, Mother Feather take a ’70s Glam Rock stage presence and combine it in a witch’s brew of Pop, Rock, Punk, and Alternative. Think David Bowe’s Ziggy Stardust persona in a live capacity, with a sound ranging anywhere from Shirley Manson and Garbage to Emily Haines and Metric. Yet still, Mother Feather are not a copycat of past or present acts, instead, they are truly all their own.
Led by entertaining frontlady Ann Courtney along with Elizabeth Carena on vocals/keyboards, Chris Foley on guitar, Gunnar Olsen on drums, and Seth Ondracek on bass, together as Mother Feather, they take major steps forward with Constellation Baby. Sound wise, the album easily is enjoyed without overly loud mastering and a pleasantly organic production quality. Nothing is worse than a record that has the potential of being good, but is so damn loud as a whole you cannot get past the second track without your ears hurting. Additionally, over-processing digital ‘magic’ often makes many other newly released albums sound and feeling generic. Constellation Baby avoids all these pitfalls and shines through with some really killer tunes.
Of the ten songs in total, opener “Red Hot Metal,” the catchy “ICU,” “Snakebite,” and the irresistible Pop textures of “Desert Island” are just a few of the early standouts. Then the album’s title-track “Constellation Baby” mellows the mood out a bit for a seriously beautiful Alternative Rock style. This is while album closer “I Blow a Kiss” shimmers with Shoegaze textures and a Dreampop atmosphere that is addictive. Of course there are also more lighthearted moments, as heard on the single “Totally Awesome” and “Shake Your Magic 8 Ball” before the heavier Punk Rock meets Synthpop influenced cut “Supernatural.”
The truth is Mother Feather is one entertaining band. Ann Courtney is a performing artist in the live arena, but when it comes down to banding together with the rest of the members of Mother Feather, they really conjure up some fantastic songs. They are heavy enough to rock out with the best of them, and accessible enough to reach fans of more Pop leaning music. With Constellation Baby, Mother Feather prove they are not a novelty act and they are here to stay for the long haul. Buckle up, this should be a fun ride! That is why CrypticRock gives this album 4.5 out of 5 stars.