Momma – Household Name

A punchy album from the much-tipped Brooklyn outfit…

Momma have come a long way, both literally and figuratively. Opening 2020 as a duo in Los Angeles, they closed 2021 as a Brooklyn based phenomenon, a string of urgent indie rock singles cementing their position as one of North America’s most-tipped quantities. Raw and ragged but blessed with an innate thirst for melody, new album ‘Household Name’ marks the completion of one journey and the beginning of another, a series of snappy vignettes that speak of youth, close creative bonds, and mutually shared ambitions.

Opener ‘Rip Off’ is a subtle introduction, the heavenly vocals set against that neat stop-start rhythm. Recalling PIXIES and Mazzy Star, those 90s alt-rock elements are spun into a new direction by their refreshingly organic songwriting. ‘Speeding 72’ leans on those shoegaze inflections, while also tapping into an unashamed vintage rock direction – we’re hearing aspects of long-lost UK faves Yuck, and that’s no bad thing, either.

The off-kilter guitars of ‘Medicine’ recall everyone from Breeders to Mission of Burma, a joyously awkward romp; the more sleek, refined ‘Motorbike’ is a tops-down West Coast thriller, a song that radiates Californian sunlight.

Momma – Household Name

In attempting to pin down Momma’s sound its easy to replicate reference points, and float citations their way. At heart, though, ‘Household Name’ resonates with thoughtful songwriting, mapping out the transitional stages of adolescence, and your early 20s; ‘Lucky’ is a feast of escapism, while the driving, potent ‘Callin Me’ is a highway hymnal.

Moving from soothing melody to guitar lines dominated by acute angles, ‘Household Name’ draws you in, painting its own world. The lyrics are framed by Momma’s rise, their gestation, and tongue-in-cheek references to finding, then losing, and finally finding another drummer. Pleasingly self-referential, ‘Household Name’ is a joyous selection, a record that melds together its alt-rock influences to locate a distinctive voice, pitting intricate instrumentation against some killer pop hooks. Looks like we may just have found our summer soundtrack.

8/10

Words: Robin Murray

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