The new album is out! Look for it in all your favorite places.
"[I]ntensely personal, poetic lyrical style ... iconic vocal sound ... and glorious piano / organ tying together a rock band of dynamic brilliance. And this album definitely rocks." —Drill Magazine (NZ).
Garage band: You know what this means. You know what this sounds like. Momzer doesn't sound like that. But they've been playing in each other's garages, and each other's parents' garages, and some garages they rented, and a couple basements of people they barely even knew, and some living rooms when spouses and upstairs neighbors were insanely understanding and no garages were available, for years. So. Momzer is a garage band.
Indie band: You know what this means. You probably have your own idea of what indie bands sound like. Momzer doesn't sound like that. Or, sometimes they do, a little. It's been a running joke with the band's family and friends for all this time. Mark spent his non-Momzer formative time in a dance/party band, Rex is a Portland punk scene vet, guitarist Jonas likes synth pop and piano-player Glen tends towards guitar bands. So all of them draw ideas from each other and sometimes even try to sound like some of the people they listen to and still wind up sounding like Momzer. Early on they all decided they didn't want to be rock stars. These days they're still springing music on anyone who'll listen. 'Cause they love it a lot. So. Momzer is an indie band.
Momzer have been building tunes and taking them apart and surprising each other and catching unsuspecting listeners and even some people who don't know them off-guard for a long time, now. There are blues elements and folk elements and a wild range of pop elements running through their music. They sing about escaping and staying put, parenting and stealing, soured friendships and stupid politics and good books.
They might surprise you, too.
"... this excellent album needs to be an essential part of any serious collector or lover of intellectual American pop."
Who would have thought that Great Grandma's old upright piano could be dragged out of the attic to lead the arrangements on what I now call 'A Modern American Classic'. 'Goodnight Nobody' by Californian lads Momzer is just that. I've never heard piano so superbly recorded, especially in its full antiquity, every hammer, mallet, dampener, squeak and once intonated - now detuned harmonic are precisely captured. But piano is only part of this fine collection.
This album revolves around Glen Hirshberg's intensely personal, poetic lyrical style, his iconic vocal sound (Gaelic-tinged American accent, not unlike Brian Molko but much more masculine) and glorious piano / organ tying together a rock band of dynamic brilliance. And this album definitely rocks. I'd easily put it up there with other American classics like The Rain Parade's "Emergency Third Rail Power Trip", The Replacements' "Let It Be" and REM's "Murmur".
. . .
As an album, Goodnight Nobody does more for piano rock than Jerry Lee Lewis, Bruce Hornsby or Ben Folds ever did. The liner notes mention that it was recorded & mixed in various home studios in San Francisco, LA and San Jose. If this is true, an album this good could cause the death of commercial studios as we know it. It's all wrapped up with very professional looking artwork, a great hidden track (11) and if I was to give this a rating out of 5 stars, the NZ flag wouldn't have enough of them.
—excerpted from review by Rohan Belton, Smashed Records, Australia
With few exceptions (the Dark Heart Procession comes to mind) piano-based rock needs to be kinetic. Motion is the key. Always move, always keep the pieces going forward. Momzer is more than happy to oblige.
And even though the boys keep a steady hand on the throttle, they are more than willing to try out different sounds and ideas. This is an incredibly fertile album, with each song inhabiting a slightly different ensemble from the alt-pop wardrobe.
The sound can be tinny, but where that might give some albums the sheen of cheapness, here it gives just the right edge to its sound. I do wish the acoustic guitars were a bit warmer, but that's a minor quibble. It's far outweighed by the cool, icy organ sound the keyboards have.
The album title is easily recognized by any parent as a line in Goodnight Moon, and the song not only acknowledges the reference but expands upon it in unexpectedly fine fashion. Kinda like the rest of the album. Momzer's understated approach sneaks up on you, but in the end you'll be hitting repeat.
—Aiding and Abetting Issue #272
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