Momma – ‘Household Name’ review: fiercely ambitious grunge duo aim for the stars

The band’s third album, and first for Lucky Number, is a whirlwind of huge riffs and slick ‘90s revivalism

Momma are a band who know what they want, and on their third record ‘Household Name’, they take an almighty swing at trying to get it. New York-based duo Allegra Weingarten and Etta Friedmann have been making music together under this name since 2016, but album three – their first for the Lucky Number label [Dream Wife, Hinds] – has all the signs of being their breakthrough moment.

“We wanted to make a rock record that was big, but polished and digestible with hooks and melodies,” Weingarten told NME recently, revealing how she and Friedmann pored over the alt-rock history books and set out to make their own ‘Nevermind’. Across the ecstatic 12 songs on ‘Household Name’, Momma swing for the fences and make no bones about their stadium-baiting ambitions. Even if some of this is delivered tongue-in-cheek, underneath it all, Momma desperately want to be rockstars. On the new album, they make a compelling case for being the next big thing.

On ‘No Stage’, the band write from the perspective of a jaded, out-of-work musician waiting for a big break, while enormous first single ‘Rockstar’ sees them search for a new drummer and try to become, well, household names. With its tidal wave of filthy, fuzzy guitars and Weingarten and Friedmann’s layered group vocals, the track feels lifted straight from MTV circa 1992.

Advertisement

This reverence for the ‘90s and openness about their influences could box Momma in as purely revivalists, but the joy and admiration with which they appropriate the rock heroes of the decade means they pull it off. “A lot of bands get pigeonholed, and I’ve read interviews with bands that try to say, ‘We’re not just a ‘90s revival, we’re our own thing!’,” Weingarten told NME. “I totally understand why a lot of people don’t like to be associated with it, but I think it’s awesome!”

Just like the Pearl Jam and Breeders hits they devoured together while working on the album, ‘Household Name’ is bursting at the seams with delicious hooks. ‘Speeding 72’ perfects their mix of sugary-sweet vocals and distorted guitars, while ‘Motorbike’ utilises Pixies‘ revolutionary loud-quiet dynamics.

While the record doesn’t provide too much up-and-down sonically, everything is streamlined as much as possible to aim for a collection of taut three-minute rock songs. The ambition on show throughout ‘Household Name’ is to be lauded in itself, and Momma deserve to be viewed like the rockstars they sing of.

Details

  • Release date: July 1
  • Record label: Lucky Number

 

Advertisement

TRENDING

Advertisement