Music For Our Mother
by Lex Marburger
Okay, I was sort of afraid of this one. Music For Our Mother is a whole bunch of alterna-rock artists doing surf songs, surf related songs, earth conscious songs, and completely unrelated songs. But wait, let’s take a look. First, a halfway decent job with Sprung Monkey pulling off a pseudo punk/surf tune “Good Times,” followed by Pearl Jam actually putting away their pretentions and playing a rare surf tune, “Gremmie Out Of Control,” a goofy one-shot that sounds great when you’re driving at 70 mph. The Brian Setzer Orchestra follows with a blistering rendition of “Honky Tonk,” guaranteed to get you on your feet. Once you’re there, the Ramones get you shakin’ even harder with the classic “California Sun.” Then we start hitting the slump. Porno For Pyros pulls out a dreamy/sappy/annoying number called “Bali Eyes,” shades of “Summertime Rolls” peeking through the tanning butter. Pennywise takes a shot at “Surfin’ USA” and misses. Silverchair, for some reason, attempts “Surfin’ Bird,” and desecrates it in a manner too horrible to mention. Stick with the Cramps’ version. The wave takes another upswing with Gary Hoey with Donavon Frankenreiter doing a novel version of “Wipeout” with stomping breaks and twisted adaptations of the original. Common Sense points about what the album is really about – a benefit for The Surfrider Foundation, to clean up the oceans. “Never Give Up” is a protest/ecological song set to a dancehall reggae style. Included in a completely frivolous yet necessary manner is The Reverend Horton Heat with “I Can’t Surf,” an anthem for all us city boys and landlubbers. Pato Banton and the Reggae Revolution once again hit us on the head with conscience on “Mama Nature,” while Primus goes all the way back to Frizzle Fry to bring us a live version of “Mr. Know It All,” and the famous line “They call me Mr. Know It All, I am so eloquent/Perfection is my middle name (and whatever rhymes with eloquent).” No Doubt pulls off a surprisingly good version of Bad Brains’ “Sailin’ On,” slowed down a bit. I can’t believe I never noticed how much Gwen sounds like H.R. This is one of the most unexpected tracks on the album, in a good way. One of the most unexpected in a bad way is Helmet‘s version of Björk’s “Army of Me.” Ohh, it sucks. And so does the rest of the album, except for the Beastie Boys‘ charming little ditty “Nettie’s Girl.” Rounding out the rest of the album are standard fare Soundgarden, Jewel, Everclear, 7 Mary 3, Sublime, and Blink-182. But hell, it’s for a good cause.