Dave McGovern
staff writer
January 26, 2006
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Finally We Are No One Finally We Are No One
May 28, 2002
Fat Cat [Caroline]
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Mum
Yesterday Was Dramatic -Today Was Ok

Who was the first band to record an album in a small sweaty room? Seriously, I am curious. Seems like many bands trying to “make it” push for this aesthetic in their press releases. It is as if the fact that they recorded their album on a four track in the woods makes their record amazing. I feel like ninety percent of records in general are recorded this way (maybe not in the woods) and of that ninety percent, ninety nine percent suck. That’s way more math than is necessary, but the point is I don’t (and I don’t think many others) really care where you recorded your record or how (unless perhaps the album is amazing).

This is how Mum tries to present themselves; yesterday was dramatic – today is ok was recorded in a small blah blah whatever in 1999 and after a struggle with a record label in Iceland it is being re-released in Europe and the US. Congratulations kids. Now lets see what you got.

The first cut, “I’m 9 today”, starts out with stuttered metronome and simple muffled synth chords before some raindrop melodies fade in. Melodica is added over some organ in an attempt to add excitement. The song is sweet in the kind of way a girl who is “so nice” but never gets a date to the dance. Nice isn’t going to hold a listeners attention, but it will receive polite compliments.

“Smell memory”, the second track, sounds like a sample of a baby bird getting beaten put together with clenched cheek drum machine. This song has a really nice delayed keyboard melody and some gritty ass drums which make a more worth while listen. The song fades out and completely changes direction with some modulated keyboard samples which get kind of boring. The song does pick up speed which I suppose adds interest and actually gets the slightest amount of head bobbing. The last section of this nine minute track gets a bit dancey (these parts counter-balance the insanely boring parts) although the keyboards, at times, sound like farts.

Track three, “There is a small number of things”, starts with a monotonous music box tune with more farty synths and drum machine side stick and a few “la la la’s” for good measure. Pretty, but not too much substance; [insert own analogy to a blonde girl here and add as many blonde jokes as appropriate].

I could go through the other five tracks if you really wanted me to, but it really is more of the same. Now you are probably thinking “hey wait a minute. You didn’t listen to the whole album did you!!!” Jokes on you (or maybe me) I did listen to the whole damn thing, but I did fall asleep (I really did). So technically I wasn’t conscious for thirty some minutes. In all fairness to Mum, that nap was really refreshing.

It is clear that this band is influenced by Sigur Ros. They even thank “jonsi og sigur ros” (I assume this means jonsi of Sigur Ros in Icelandic) in the liner notes. As all electronic post-rock-whatever bands, Mum takes themselves too seriously. They try to tell the listener, typically without vocalization, that their music is the heaviest most important thing on earth, but in reality it is just a bunch of loops and echoes. Pretention does work, but I think there is only enough room for one pretentious “epic” band from Iceland and they (Sigur Ros) don’t really always cut the mustard all that often in my opinion. Overall Mum shows some talent, but mostly yesterday was dramatic – today is ok is nothing more than an ok album to cure insomnia.

Release date: October 18, 2005
Label: Morr Music
Rating: 3.5 / 10

[RMR]