There isn’t a single music publication that hasn’t been drooling all over Brooklyn-based nu gaze/alt rock duo Momma, and for good reason. Momma’s third album, Household Name, has it all — robust rhythm sections, potent guitar lines, cavity-inducing hooks, and satirical lyrics musing on bygone eras of rock and roll.
According to founding members Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten, their creative symbiosis was at an all-time high while recording Household Name, describing it as “the first record where [they] each have three songs that [they] sing solo on.”
Throughout the album, Friedman and Weingarten masterfully weave personal stories with fictional wish-fulfillment fantasies and biting social commentary on the rock and roll industrial complex, culminating in a euphoric alt-rock bombast. The lead single “Medicine,” was described by The Line of Best Fit as an “addictive alt rock tonic,” and “Lucky,” Friedman’s lovelorn Liz Phair-inspired ditty to their long-distance partner, packs a powerful punch with searing pedal-heavy guitar licks and open-hearted lyrics demonstrating how euphoria can be extracted from the mundane when the person you love is around.
“Speeding 72” and “Rockstar,” are love letters to Friedman and Weingarten’s slacker rock heroes of yesteryear, from the Breeders to Nirvana and Veruca Salt. The former includes a nod to Pavement’s “Gold Soundz,” and the latter references “Hummer” by the Smashing Pumpkins. “No Stage” is cut from the same cloth, narrated from the perspective of a disillusioned rock star who makes it big and rapidly flames out (“If I’m famous for the night/I’ll be lonely all my life”).
Although their last album Two of Me was an ambitious concept album about divine punishment and morality, Household Name still manages to surpass Two of Me‘s grandiosity in stature, despite the lyrics being culled from personal experience, proving that bands truly can excel when they stop taking themselves so seriously.
To name check one of Momma’s many musical heroes, if their debut album Interloper was their Pod, then Household Name is their Last Splash. It’s the grand opus that listeners always knew Momma was capable of delivering, which made it all the more satisfying when they finally did.
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