Momma: Household Name (Polyvinyl) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, August 7th, 2022  

Momma

Household Name

Polyvinyl

Jul 27, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The decidedly problematic Jack Kerouac was at least correct when he wrote, “The road must eventually lead to the whole world.” (Perhaps Finding Nemo’s “all drains lead to the ocean” is preferable.) Household Name, the third record from Brooklyn-based duo Momma, orients itself against this theory. Indeed, its creators Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten have worldwide objectives—their names “in every home across the States,” matriarchal domination of (indie) rock so to speak. With its quasi-obsession with the road, the album—and the talismanic red car tearing across its cover—is poised to take them there.

Between its effusive guitar riffs and sardonic commentary on the modern music biz, Household Name is antithetical to the “sad girl starter pack” trend that characterizes what we think of as the indie rock revival. The lyrics aren’t concerned with internal analysis—à la, for example, the self-discovery opus of Snail Mail’s Valentine—but have an unapologetic swagger, updating Stephen Malkmus’ “I’ve got style for miles and miles” brag but with the sonic grandeur of Siamese Dream. “Yeah I got what they want, I’m a real rock star,” they intone in unison on the second single “Rockstar.” More than this, there is defensive self-preservation in their lyrics, insulating them from the dangers of rock stardom, and indeed mid-level indie stardom: “Never disrespect me/I’m the fucker down the street/I could be your everything,” they snarl over semi-dissonant clustered arpeggios on “Tall Home,” warding off shady execs and fairweather fans.

Household Name manages to be both bold and wary—capturing the kinetic anxiety that arises when a protracted daydream seeps into your everyday. Yet there are moments when the duo seem to ease off the gas and enjoy the ride for what it is, name-checking their favorite songs (“You can catch us around/Listening to ‘Gold Soundz’”), exploring the myriad ways they can make their guitars converse and counterpoint (see “Rip Off”), and examining the indignant bliss of true love on “Lucky.” I always envied those who got to live through the peak of grunge and riot grrrl. But I wouldn’t trade Momma, Skating Polly, Charly Bliss, et al. for the world. When push comes to shove, I don’t think they’d trade themselves, either. (www.mommaband.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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