Mother Of Fire: “Feral Children” Review
A few months back I saw Heart of the Beast Theater’s performance of Stromboli’s Medicine Show, which featured a live soundtrack from local trio Mother of Fire. And if the action onstage got a little goofy at times, there was no denying that the band’s accompanying instrumentals set a genuinely frightening mood. And while I am not certain, I believe that several of the songs played that evening were sketches of the tunes that went on to make up Mother of Fire’s newest record Feral Children. And if they weren’t, they certainly shared an aesthetic similarity: utter primal terror.
I am not sure if I have heard anything quite as effectively horrifying and at the same time exhilarating, as Feral Children. Out of three musician’s minds has come a musical document that has the power to drain the light from any room and turn it into a wild, scary place. Taking cues from psychedelic drone, eastern exotica and even metal, Feral Children sounds as if it was crafted out of ancient Babylonian texts, druidic incantations, and arcane witchery in some deep, dark subterranean cavern.
Throughout the album, Andie Mazorol and Jason Misik’s propulsive drum and bass rhythm’s provide a minimal canvas for vocalist/violinist Naomi Joy to construct vividly surreal nightmares of beauty and violence, joy and pain. There is something so primordial, so unfiltered about their constructions that they seem as if they could hail from any era. While Joy’s lyricism does ground the record in the present day somewhat, the human desire to distill the violence and savagery of nature into music is as old as time itself. An in this elemental goal, fewer bands are as successful in deriving such raw, naked displays of untempered emotion. There is very little in the way of hooks, choruses, traditional pop structure. Feral Children is more like a long scream that exists in varying wavelengths but in unmitigated intensity.
If your idea of good music is something that you can sing along to in the shower, Feral Children probably won’t be your cup of tea (unless perhaps you shower in blood). If you like challenging music though that pushes boundaries and has the potential to even terrify, then by all means, give Feral Children a try. Just don’t be surprised to find yourself shivering in the fetal position and praying for the sun to rise.
— Jon Behm
The release show for Feral Children will take place this Friday (4/20) at “the warehouse off of Harmon Place behind Joe’s Garage” with Paul Metzger and the Blind Shake.