“Grief Chapter”- Mother Mother Album Review

Written by on February 25, 2024

Life is fleeting, therefore it’s precious, and death is the most effective way I know to frame this miracle of living.” – Ryan Guldemond, Lead Vocalist/Guitarist

Review by Afsin Rehman

Mother Mother released their new album Grief Chapter on February 16th, 2024, following their last album Inside released in 2021. They teased the release with singles “The Matrix” and “Normalize,” which both have a more modern tone while still embracing some of the band’s older style.

As the album title suggests, Grief Chapter is an album of 12 tracks with themes of the inevitable and the acceptance that comes with it. Tracks like “To My Heart” explore internalized pain and turmoil that many can relate to, and how it originates from within us. It makes the listener look both inward and outward, without blaming one or the other. Other tracks have brighter instrumental but darker lyrics and tone, which I believe works perfectly for the delivery of the album.

One of my favorite songs is “Explode!” It starts very tame and has a more modern feel than their other tracks- This is only until it gets to the chorus, which is an explosion of drums and hard electric shredding until it falls back to the more cheery undertones of the song. It works perfectly to build up to the “explosion” and release, which is cathartic yet still controlled and purposeful.

“Forever” features Molly Guldemond’s iconic honeyed vocals throughout the song. She maintains amazing control while remaining free-flowing even with the repetitive lyrics. This is a good break-up between tracks, especially when the album is listened to in order.

Another good song that breaks it up is “G**damn Staying Power,” which reminds me of a good interlude. The short song makes sure to directly refer to the album name which I also really liked.

I definitely can’t skip over “The Matrix,” which is such a masterpiece. It focuses on those heavy drums which I am an absolute sucker for, and sudden changes in vocals from Molly’s high-pitched, breathy notes, to Ryan Guldemond’s harsher notes.

Their use of varying methods to make their instruments sound different from their simplest form is one reason why Mother Mother is one of my favorite rock bands. Their work always keeps you on your toes, with so much packed into each track. They create an atmosphere of urgency and fear by simply changing the tempo mid-song. This use of tempo is common with many of their past albums, but even more so in Grief Chapter due to the harsh contrasts between each section of the songs. This perfectly portrays grief, as it isn’t consistent and it creeps up when you least expect it. The unpredictability of the album is what captures the essence of this state of being.

I think this album could be listened to at any time, not just in an emotional state. It’s simultaneously lovely and beautiful, yet rough and harsh with a troubling reality. Acceptance can be coupled with fear. Sadness can be coupled with a period of joy. It isn’t linear and the delivery of this album is memorable, yet could be listened to over and over again.

As ironic as it sounds, Mother Mother continues to move with the times and their new fans, while remaining loyal to the more traditional aspects of what we all know to be alt and indie rock.

Featured Image from Amazon.