Norma Jean – The Anti-Mother
For many years Norma Jean have been my favourite band. Their first time to Australia I went to all three shows – even sneaking access to the under 18 gigs (I shaved and tried not to attract attention to myself… It worked). When I think of it now, it was a little silly going to all three shows – it broke the credit card and they played the same show each night… But hey, it’s norma jean.
The second time they came out I went to the show, and enjoyed it very much. They headlined that time, and I was impressed with their show, but I didn’t think it was worth writing home about. But that is beside the point – considering I only went to one of their shows, I thankfully had to rate it against nothing.
I say all this, because my fandom of this band started before Bless the Martyr with Throwing Myself. And that is relevant because this CD really flew under the radar for me. I wasn’t chomping at the bit to get my hands on it, I just happened to pre-order it at the right time.
So, whats it like? The Anti Mother starts in a strange way, kind of incohesive, and it takes a bit to get into what has become the standard Norma Jean opening song. Once it gets there the CD opens with a strong track. But really the track is not stronger than anything on there, its what I have come to know from ‘the jean’ with the beginning.
The second song things start getting really different. The opening vocals raised my eyebrows – it is different. And I think that kind of explains the whole CD – it is different, but not varied. I could go through each track one by one, but really the entire review of the CD will sum it up. Not many tracks stand out – even though Chino from the Deftones helped write (and sing) a few songs.
The only track to me that stands out is “Robots 3 Humans 0”. It stays in my head and the vocal melody is rather nice. But really the track has nothing on ‘Memphis will be Laid to Waste’ or ‘Bayonetwork’ from previous albums – It’s good, but its not awesome.
Every track seem to blend. The album seems slow in progression. The songs seem to all sit together like kids in a class room. And in an entire package the music compliments the artwork – they are as good as the other (ie. not very).
I think to sum it up, while it is an entertaining listen – the CD is rather uninspired. I was expecting an aural assult like O God, or Bless the Martyr… While on that point – I had listened through The Anti Mother, and as soon as the last track finished, it went straight into “The Entire World is Counting on Me…” Instantly the air was filled with captivating music. It was heavy, harsh and brutal – and yet sweet. I think thats what I was expecting, but The Anti Mother didn’t bring it.