Music

Martha Wainwright: Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole [EP]

Zeth Lundy

Following her brother Rufus's arrival as a major pop talent, Martha Wainwright looks to make a similar dent with her raw brand of anti-folk.


Martha Wainwright

Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole [EP]

Label: Drowned in Sound
US Release Date: 2004-11-15
UK Release Date: 2004-11-22
iTunes affiliate
Amazon
iTunes

Naming your EP Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole is pretty damn brave, especially in these delicate days when media programmers across the country have their FCC-fearing fingers poised over the "mute" button. It's also a rebellious introductory stance for an artist looking to provoke or silence potential critics (not to mention its possibly mutinous affect on one's own professional career).

Not that Martha Wainwright need worry; she's yet another member of a well-known, ridiculously talented musical family, one that includes her brother Rufus, father Loudon III, and mother Kate McGarrigle. Although the 28-year-old Wainwright has been appearing on records for years (mostly those of her family), she's taken her time prepping an official full length solo debut. That debut reportedly will reach shelves in late February, leaving us with the 14-minute teaser EP Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole for the time being.

The four songs on Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole -- featuring Wainwright on guitar and very sparse organ or keyboard embellishments -- are as uncompromisingly raw and immediate as the EP's title. Wainwright comes on like gangbusters in the opening title track, angry, aggressive, immediately on the defensive. "I've been poked and stoked / It's all smoke, there's no fire / Only desire for whoever you are," she sings in her forceful voice that cracks and gives way under its own strain, like Björk reciting Throwing Muses, adding: "I will not pretend, I will not put on a smile." She then repeats the title obsessively like it's both a curse and a mantra, closing up an unflinching, unyielding proclamation of self.

It's hard to follow up a song with such gravitas and shock value, so perhaps that's why the following three songs feel slightly less important. "I Will Internalize" is a slower self-examination, lifted by a bluesy bridge and tiny organ embellishments. "It's Over" plugs Wainwright's guitar in, the chords rumbling like little earthquakes under brutal honesties like "Your secret's not safe with me". The EP finishes up with a cover of the Carroll Lucas-Jack Owens tune "How Soon", a jazzy slice of Tin Pan Alley that marks the only melodic similarity with her brother. It takes all three songs combined to render the same impact as the ferocious title track; "Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole" is on such a high level of truth that it tends to obscure anything else that sits near it.

It's about time that Wainwright got around to releasing her own album (although Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole follows a few other EPs, no full length official record has been made). She's as different from her brother as her brother is different from their father, but like both men, she's fiercely honest and stubbornly candid. With any luck, 2005's new album will rank her as equal to both. Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole (its title track in particular) makes a strong case that such a scenario is destiny.

6

Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.

Books

Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.

Film

'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.

Music

Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.

Film

Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

Music

Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.

Music

The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.

Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.