Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25: Mother Superior, "D.T.M.M.Y.F.G.?"

Artist: Mother Superior
Song: "D.T.M.M.Y.F.G.?"
Album: Deep
Year: 1998

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN (will open in new tab)

If there is one thing that has been proven time and and time again within the world of music, it is the fact that music that sounds honest hand a product of hard work will almost always connect and rise above studio trickery and "label made" artists.  This tends to be most evident within the area of rock music, as bands that do not have the "real" deal are usually quite obvious and quickly dispatched as a joke in some way or another.  Then of course, there are the great bands that spend much of their career fighting to get to the "next level," and it is within these groups that some of the greatest rock songs of the past twenty years can be found.  Among such bands, there was one that brought together blues, soul, and hard rock in a stunning and unique way, and it is the reason why Mother Superior stands as one of the most amazing, yet relatively unknown bands of the 1990's.  Without question, there sound was hard hitting and musically superior in comparison to nearly all of their peers, and throughout their amazing 1998 album, Deep, one can feel a sense of urgency within their music.  Every song on the record has a heavy, soulful feel, and the sound the band creates would have fit in perfectly with the rock-metal sound that dominated much of the 1970's.  Due to the overall level of sound throughout the record, it is difficult to single out a song as their "best," yet one can quickly understand just why Mother Superior stand as such a fantastic band within their 1998 song, "D.T.M.M.Y.F.G.?"

Opening the album and setting the tone for the rest of the record, "D.T.M.M.Y.F.G.?" begins with a perfectly distorted guitar noise from Jim Wilson.  The way in which the sound pulses across the opening of the track, before sliding into a full-on rock-blues progression is nothing short of perfect, and there are few instances from the past twenty years where a "wah" pedal has been better used.  His solo later in the song is instant proof that he is without question one of the most talented and inspiring guitarists of his generation, and his playing gives "D.T.M.M.Y.F.G.?" am amazing amount of movement.  Bassist Marcus Blake is equally impressive, as he winds around his bandmates, injecting a heavy dose of funk into the song.  When Blake takes center-stage about halfway through the song, the source of the songs' groove becomes undeniable, and following the solo, one is far more tuned into his sound for the remainder of the song.  Rounding out the band in brilliant fashion is drummer Jason MacKenroth, and it is the power and pattern that he lends to the song that futher separates Mother Superior from their peers.  Bringing a sound that lives somewhere between blues and heavy metal, MacKenroth clearly has a wide range of influences on his sound, and it is quickly apparent in his playing.  It is the way in which the almost psychedelic guitar blends with the funk-driven bass and heavy drumming that makes "D.T.M.M.Y.F.G.?" so unique, and it is also all the proof one could want as to why Mother Superior stand as such an exceptionally talented band.

Along with his guitar work, Jim Wilson also handles vocal duties on "D.T.M.M.Y.F.G.?," and he manages to match the mood and sound of his guitar with his voice.  Wilson quickly shows an ability to sing with multiple inflections, as well as work all over the vocal spectrum, and this in many ways places him far apart from his blues-rock peers.  One can sense within his singing that he is letting the mood of the song guide his voice, and this unrestrained feel makes the song all the more captivating.  It is this energy within Wilson's singing that shows a deep connection to the words which he sings, and it is this proximity to the lyrics that gives "D.T.M.M.Y.F.G.?" an even more authentic feel, and also draws in every listener.  When one inspects exactly what Wilson is singing, it becomes understandable why this energy and mood are so clear, as the words sum up the feelings of every true music fanatic.  The title itself stands for "don't the music make you feel good?" and the way in which Wilson sings these words makes it quite obvious that it is far more than just a catchy title.  Perfectly capturing the feeling of music being a "savior" for so many, the lyrics are truly without fault, and the band manages to take a cliché idea and work it in a way which is nothing short of musical perfection.  Throughout the song, Wilson seems on the verge of a scream, and yet the fact that he never does manages to sound even better, and it is his straightforward, uninhibited performance that pushes "D.T.M.M.Y.F.G.?" above the rest of the songs on the album.

Looking at Deep as a whole, one cannot overlook the fact that one of the main differences between it and the bands' previous effort was the person "behind the boards" for the record.  Handling production duties for the album was none other than Henry Rollins, as he hand been a huge fan of Mother Superior.  Truth be told, the group would eventually become Rollins' backing band, and it is quickly evident on Deep just how well they all click on the same musical level.  It is perhaps due to Rollins' influence on the record that the songs have more bite and more of a "live" feel to them, and yet one can also make the case that the group had simply matured and honed their skills to the point where nothing short of an exceptional musical performance was possible.  Regardless of the reasoning, after hearing Deep, one cannot deny just how fantastic a record it is, and it is a large wonder why the album did not receive more of a push, as it represents everything that there is to love about honest rock and roll music.  The way in which the band is able to balance the sounds of blues, funk, and even heavy metal into a glorious rock force is far beyond that of nearly all of their musical peers, and throughout the album, the extraordinary talents of each of the band members has a time to shine.  Though each song on the album is fantastic, Mother Superior manages to sum up everything that makes their sound so captivating, along with making an anthem for those true music devotees within their phenomenal 1998 song, "D.T.M.M.Y.F.G.?"

No comments: