gig report :: Mother Of Fire- @ Skylab 3-14-10 Columbus, OH
Mother Of Fire fucking blew my mind at this show. There were 3 other bands on the bill that night (including my band), but to write about any of those bands would honestly be doing them a disservice, as I was so into this Minneapolis trio's set that a review of anything else would come across as less than enthusiastic (though the other bands were definitely good!). So, my apologies to those folks.
All I knew about Mother Of Fire before this show was that they were a violin/ bass/ drums outfit, and that I dug the stuff they had on their myspace. I was most unprepared for the beautiful onslaught that they would unleash. During their set they played in the dark with a fog machine that somehow actually seemed ominous instead of cheesy and they had an awesome plastic statue of mary magdalene with antlers attached to her head. One could certainly tell that this was going to be interesting just from that, but the opening violin riff made me realize just how awesome it would be musically.
Their set started off with just Naomi Joy playing her violin and doing a bit of vocals in a style that I can best describe as some type of demonic Egyptian snake charming music, if that makes sense. It sounded totally insane. A few minutes into the riff and the rhythm section kicked in, and then shit really started to get awesome! The bass and drums provided the perfect support for miss Joy's screaming violin and possessed vocals. Her use of the violin was really fucking cool, because she really knew how to play, yet also utilized the noise elements of the instrument as well. It was fed through various effects to further emphasize it's nefariousness, and the end result was nothing short of breathtaking, especially when she would kick on the delay and distortion, man, it was fucking amazing! I've seen some kickass violin work in the past, but this was way better! Not to downplay the importance of the rhythm section though, as they were extremely fucking tight too.
All in all, their entire set was pure audiogasm! It was the best blend of noise and structure I've ever seen live for sure. It sounds like bullshit, but I was genuinely fighting back tears while they were playing.
Trying to accurately describe what this band sounds like is quite difficult. Many times during my stint as a reviewer I've babbled about how so and so artist is unclassifiable, but few cases have been as much so as this band. Any comparison or genre reference I could give would be an injustice. Sure, I could say that maybe they sound like Siouxie and the Banshees or Skeletal Family would if they were a noise rock band, but that sure as hell isn't accurate. However there is certainly an affinity I see here between these folks and 80's post-punk type stuff, primarily the more experimental and abrasive stuff from those scenes, but taken to the next level of extremity (without losing structure). They may not be influenced by that at all, but it's the closest comparison I can draw. But like I said, that really doesnt do them any justice either. Mother Of Fire is just Mother Of Fire, and it's heavy and dramatic and noisy and just down right fucking asskicking awesome!
After they finished their set I talked briefly with some of the folks from the band and they seemed pretty cool. I was quite flattered that they seemed to dig my band, especially since it was our first show. I eagerly bought their record, even though I no longer have a record player (I'm looking for one right now for the sole purpose of listening to this album). I got a shirt from them that I'm wearing right now (and I've already made it dirty, damnit!) and it's actually one of the only band shirts I own right now.
Anyway, the point is, Mother Of Fire are an unbelievably awesome band. If you can see them live DO IT!!!!!
It was by far one of the best shows I've ever seen, probably the best. And I'm really not trying to sound asskissy or insincere in anyway. I genuinely dig them that much. If you see their record, buy it. I havent even heard it yet outside of what's on myspace, but I already know it rules!