Mothers – Render Another Ugly Method (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/88,2kHz | Time – 57:13 minutes | 1,07 GB | Genre: Experimental Rock, Post-Punk, Female Vocal
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Anti – Epitaph
Mothers attempt to exist in two places at once – both singular and collaborative, sprawling and concise, present and distant. Kristine Leschper, songwriter and founding member of the project, explains that it is in the space between opposites that she finds herself. The multifaceted is, by nature, fragmented – each facet reflecting a slightly different perspective of the whole. It is in this way that their latest record, Render Another Ugly Method, attempts to gain an expanded view of its surroundings through splintered sound, thought, and image. By conversing with her own experiences of attempting to validate herself through work, Leschper moves toward understanding the harmful and often indulgent nature of inextricably coupling the quality of your creative output to your right to exist.
Render Another Ugly Method is an assemblage of personal vignettes and imagined scenarios that examines consent, escape of the body, power and powerlessness, and the act of making. Render sees the remnants of Leschper and Anderegg, Chris Goggans and Drew Kirby in musical conversation, through cut-up songs that were torn apart and rebuilt over and over again. Sonically, the record is compartmentalized, each song existing in an environment of its own with disjointed linear fragments that feel as if they hang onto one another by a thread.
Fittingly, the album addresses the exploration and dissociation that comes with pushing oneself artistically, witnessing a shift in focus within Leschper’s writing from intuitive and insular to a process that’s acknowledging and methodological. This is displayed most prominently on “BAPTIST TRAUMA”, a composition of stop-start drums and shards of jagged guitar whose title functions as an acronym, and is ultimately a dissection of Leschper’s practice and work ethic, self-described as “ugly, at times seeking validation through itself. Additional mentions of work and process can be found on “‘IT IS A PLEASURE TO BE HERE'”, whose title is presented in quotes, raising questions as to whether this is simply a direct quote or a paradoxical means of displaying unrest within the constraints of “here”, whether that be body or place. Leschper sings, “I wonder how much you can fit inside a painting”, begging a question many of us ask ourselves – is this enough?
The album also dives headfirst into matters of the corporeal – the word “body” is used seven times, perhaps most notably on “WEALTH CENTER/RISK CAPITAL”, where Leschper asserts: “I am excited by the prospect of living without a body – I am ungrateful and this proves it.” This happens alongside many other references to physicality, and again we find ourselves measuring opposites, dealing with representations of here or not here. Within the context of bodily preoccupation, simple sentences become charged with meaning, questioning what can be perceived as most valuable, the physical or the non-physical.
On the closing track of the record, we hear “you must keep quiet – the hands are the organs of feeling”, a sentiment which is at once directive and dominating, yet it conveys an urgent softness. “MOTHER AND WIFE” uses religious imagery of baptism and the iconographic gesture of benediction to describe a moment of inviolable physical intimacy. Render is certainly most engaged in examinations of “not here” – such as “BEAUTY ROUTINE” where Leschper requests of the listener, “show me a beauty routine / to erase me completely”.
When we observe opposites side by side – here, not here; detached, vulnerable; power, powerlessness – we can more clearly see their exaggerated forms because they become grotesque caricatures of themselves. Render Another Ugly Method utilizes opposing imagery, structure, and mood in an effort to better understand the characteristics of its motifs. Mothers experiment in the space between detached and vulnerable, rend and render, because it is between opposites that there is room to exist.
1. Beauty Routine (03:15)
2. Pink (06:50)
3. “It Is A Pleasure To Be Here” (05:15)
4. Blame Kit (04:14)
5. Baptist Trauma (03:19)
6. Western Medicine (05:34)
7. Circle Once (04:56)
8. Mutual Agreement (05:40)
9. Mother And Wife (07:53)
10. Wealth Center / Risk Capital (04:15)
11. Fat Chance (06:02)