What’s the point of it all? That seems to be the question Canadian artrock trio Motherhood are pondering here. There’s an overarching sense of grubby futility to Winded, and, oddly enough, there’s joy to be taken from that in its parallel exploration of the brutal beauty of nature.
Musically there are shades of Art Is Hard-era Cursive in the brash skronk and raw vocals of openers Crawley I and Crawley II, and a debt of gratitude to Pixies is paid in the contrast between frontman Brydon Crain’s shriek and bassist Penelope Stevens’s sweetly crooned harmonies.
From the stormy punk fury of Ripped Sheets to a queasy, slow-motion portrait of a car crash in Handbrake, with its pounding, sludgy guitars overwhelming the piece as the final collision draws inexorably nearer, Motherhood embrace the darkness to find strength.
And by the time we reach Trees – a woozy waltz of acceptance – there’s a sense that there probably is no meaning to it all, and maybe that’s just fine.