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Momzer: Goodnight Nobody
A Modern American Classic!

"... this excellent album needs to be an essential part of any serious collector or lover of intellectual American pop."

Who would have thought that Great Grandma's old upright piano could be dragged out of the attic to lead the arrangements on what I now call 'A Modern American Classic'. 'Goodnight Nobody' by Californian lads Momzer is just that. I've never heard piano so superbly recorded, especially in its full antiquity, every hammer, mallet, dampener, squeak and once intonated - now detuned harmonic are precisely captured. But piano is only part of this fine collection.

This album revolves around Glen Hirshberg's intensely personal, poetic lyrical style, his iconic vocal sound (Gaelic-tinged American accent, not unlike Brian Molko but much more masculine) and glorious piano / organ tying together a rock band of dynamic brilliance. And this album definitely rocks. I'd easily put it up there with other American classics like The Rain Parade's "Emergency Third Rail Power Trip", The Replacements' "Let It Be" and REM's "Murmur".

. . .

As an album, Goodnight Nobody does more for piano rock that Gerry Lee Lewis, Bruce Hornsby or Ben Folds ever did. The liner notes mention that it was recorded & mixed in various home studios in San Francisco, LA and San Jose. If this is true, an album this good could cause the death of commercial studios as we know it. It's all wrapped up with very professional looking artwork, a great hidden track (11) and if I was to give this a rating out of 5 stars, the NZ flag wouldn't have enough of them.

    -- excerpted from review by Rohan Belton, Smashed Records, Australia

[Read the full review]

Momzer - Goodnight Nobody

With few exceptions (the Dark Heart Procession comes to mind) piano-based rock needs to be kinetic. Motion is the key. Always move, always keep the pieces going forward. Momzer is more than happy to oblige.

And even though the boys keep a steady hand on the throttle, they are more than willing to try out different sounds and ideas. This is an incredibly fertile album, with each song inhabiting a slightly different ensemble from the alt-pop wardrobe.

The sound can be tinny, but where that might give some albums the sheen of cheapness, here it gives just the right edge to its sound. I do with the acoustic guitars were a bit warmer, but that's a minor quibble. It's far outweighed by the cool, icy organ sound the keyboards have.

The album title is easily recognized by any parent as a line in Goodnight Moon, and the song not only acknowledges the reference but expands upon it in unexpectedly fine fashion. Kinda like the rest of the album. Momzer's understated approach sneaks up on you, but in the end you'll be hitting repeat.

    -- Aiding and Abetting Issue #272

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