Various Artists: Sounds From Mothland Volume One (Mothland Records) - review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, March 8th, 2021  

Various Artists

Sounds From Mothland Volume One

Mothland Records

Feb 16, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Montreal’s musical underground is a hive of activity and at the heart of its extant is Mothland. Primarily a booking agency that also became a record label, the Mothland family is responsible for curating some of Quebec’s most forward-thinking events such as Distorsion Festival and the Taverne Tour.

In between booking festivals, shows and tours, they’ve also assembled a mouthwatering roster of acts that traverses any number of genres one would care to mention. Not just content with promoting talent from within their own backyard, the Mothland alumni also includes artists from territories as far and wide as Israel (Gladys Lazer) and Belgium (Le Prince Harry), alongside several others from the United States.

With 2020’s live music calendar decimated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Mothland set about showcasing their artists in other ways instead, starting with this excellent compilation starring 15 of their acts and associated artists.

As an imprint whose emphasis is firmly entrenched in DIY ethics, the physical version of Sounds From Mothland Volume 1 comes as a cassette with its artwork designed by Pottery drummer Paul Jacobs, whose jaunty “Thanks” stands out as one of the highlights on this impressive compilation. It also proves a warming appetizer for Jacobs’ forthcoming debut solo record, Pink Dogs on the Green Grass.

Elsewhere, Spaceface—who feature Flaming Lips guitarist and keyboard player Jake Ingalls among their number—contribute the dreamy “Chemical Sea (Wash Me Away).” While Montreal post-punks VICTIME’s “Oui Merci” takes sartorial agitprop to another level. Fellow Montreal based duo Birds of Paradise deliver the luscious “Money Trees,” while psych rock stalwarts The High Dials offer a timely reminder as to why they’re so highly revered in that genre with the delightful “Near Life Experience.”

Indeed, Montreal is well represented as one would expect. Whether it be errant shoegazers Yoo Doo Right, experimental post rockers Atsuko Chiba, or progressive rock supergroup Black Legary, whose “Progenburger” is given the remix treatment by Sam Woywitka. His magic hands turning it into a hip-hop noise-fest of sorts.

However, the best is unashamedly saved until last. Brooklyn outfit Sunwatchers fuse everything from jazz to post-punk via their panoramic, globally encompassing view that turns this live rendition of “Zygotic Boogie” into an apocalyptic finale fit for any occasion.

Hopefully 2021 will see a change in fortunes for the live music industry. But if it doesn’t, Mothland can at least take comfort in the knowledge they possess one of the most exciting and adventurous rosters in music. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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