MOTHERLAND - BETTER THAN THIS (2000, MDM RECORDS)
Andrew Davies - vocals, guitars
Andy Given - bass, keyboards
John Honour - drums, backing vocals
Hailing from Swansea in Wales, Motherland are a modern acoustic rock band with influences from Counting Crows
and Matchbox 20
. This is their first album, which comprises of ten tracks including a remix called 'Under Her Wing'. The writing, delicate guitar work and husky vocals are from Andrew Davies,and they come at you with a radio orientated soft acoustic sound, though there are no hard hitting riffs here. Highlights include 'Be All And End All' that has good character, the verses blend well into the chorus and the lyrics are subtle and abstract enough to catch the ear. The remix track also has a catchy bass line that brings the song out and has a great flow that gives it a distinct shine.
With the rest of the album being very similar, the tracks are punched out with a very 'play me I want to be a hit' mentality. When combined with the weird lyrics that make you wonder what sad love lives these long haired welshmen have suffered, the album fails to mature beyond being but a collection of tracks. It took a fair amount of listening before many of the tracks really caught on (not a bad thing necessarily but I'm sure you get where I'm coming from).
There is a lot of potential in this group, for a three piece they have a very tight and full sound, but it is limited both in variation and scope. They appear to be stuck between wanting to be a pop band with hits, girls and money or a rock band with pride, spirit and no money. You are left knowing that it could very well be 'better than this' for Motherland, but they must first choose what they want to be.
02 Help You With Your Life
03 Be All and the End All
05 Mr. Sunshine
06 Lay Me Down
07 You Made Me
08 She Wrote A Letter
10 Under Her Wing (Remix)
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