Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Andrew W. K. - Mother of Mankind

In 2006, Andrew W.K. released his third full-length album – a surprisingly diverse platter of rock amusingly titled Close Calls With Brick Walls – but due to never quite explained contractual reasons, it only appeared in parts of Asia. Finally getting a global release, it has been packaged with a rather unique collection of rare and unreleased material.

The curiously titled Mother of Mankind contains a wealth of tracks from 1999 to 2010, displaying the very different sides to W.K.’s creative capacity. Some tracks beg the question as to why they’ve been hidden until now, others make it obvious why they haven’t seen the light of day and the rest are somewhere between nonsensically bizarre and genius. However, it is clear throughout that Mother of Mankind is only meant for the hardcore Andrew W.K. fan. Simply put, moments like the electro-ballad demotivational speech ‘Kill Yourself’ or the bass-laden reggae-rock boogie of ‘We Got A Groove’ don’t quite fit the tone of most of Andrew’s discography. But it is this variety that piques interest; AWKGOJ styled tracks like ‘I’ve Got No Fear’ and ‘Coming Bad’ show W.K.’s penchant for the grandiose whereas ‘Big Party’ shows off some of his more electronic-disco tastes. Other songs such as the peculiar ambient noise of ‘Young Lord’ or the pseudo-rap of ‘Kicks And Bricks’ show his willingness to experiment musically, even if the result is dubious at best.

As a bonus to the long overdue release of Close Calls, Mother is a fun collection of primarily ridiculous songs. It’s just a shame some of its best tracks hadn’t been refined and made in to a new album.

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