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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Young Mothers fresh and talented

    Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

From left, Andrew Bates, bass, Nate Jasensky, guitar, Zachary Bennet-Toporek, guitar and vocals, Ryan Slater, drums and Tommy Cormier, keyboard, are members of local Tucson band Young Mothers will be making their Sky Bar appearance during Club Crawl this weekend.
    Gordon Bates
    Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat From left, Andrew Bates, bass, Nate Jasensky, guitar, Zachary Bennet-Toporek, guitar and vocals, Ryan Slater, drums and Tommy Cormier, keyboard, are members of local Tucson band Young Mothers will be making their Sky Bar appearance during Club Crawl this weekend.

    In a smoky room sit five young men. One has a gray bandana holding back a torrent of hair. A UA jersey is draped over another guy. Another wears a pink shirt with cartoon roses on it. There’s a ’70s porn moustache on one guy. Oh, and there is a ginger in the corner. This is Young Mothers.

    Certainly a funny group, you’ll be amazed at what these guys come up with. Though Young Mothers have made music for about three years, the current lineup only coalesced in early January.What started as a solo project morphed into an amazing five-person rock band.

    “”It’s a collaboration,””  said Nate Jansensky, guitarist, “”but it definitely has a starting point.”” That point is Zach Toporek, the not-so-evil mastermind behind the group. As the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, he has made some great decisions about the band’s lineup. Tommy Cormier happily plunks along on keyboard, Jansensky as another guitarist, Andrew Bates thrums along on bass, and Ryan Slater kicks it on the drums with a sly smile.

    Composed of three UA alumni and two current seniors, Young Mothers owe much to the music program. With majors ranging from straight-up music degrees to music business management, the five all interacted in the hallowed halls of the Music building, bonding over Steely Dan shirts or business networking.

    If you ask the band who influences them, they’ll name R. Kelly. In reality, you’re more likely to catch  shades of The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie and The Shins. But the group isn’t trying to emulate anyone.

    “”We’re going to sound like something. And if it’s good, people will listen. In the end we’ll sound like our own specific thing,”” Toporek said.

    And they certainly do. The sound is full-bodied, at once cinematic and gritty, polished and humble. A pause in a song feels like the moment in a movie right before the hero sees his beloved in a crowded train station — full of barely suppressed anticipation and energy. Sometimes Toporek croons, hitting every note dead-on without the whine so often heard in rockers’ voices. Sometimes you’ll see a vein or two popping out in his neck while the band belts it out. Either way, it’s damn good.

    Between chuckling about cheap wine, Lady Gaga and the unknown future of a college graduate with a fine arts degree, the members express high hopes for what lies ahead.

    “”We’re really on the cusp of taking this stupid serious,”” Toporek said. And that’s pretty much how the band functions. They’re pretty goofy, but you can tell they love what they do, and they’re really good at it.

    Music fans have four chances to catch Young Mothers play this week. The band will be playing a free show at Club Congress on Thursday with the Ohio-based Bad Veins. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show is 21+.

    Young Mothers will be playing three shows on Saturday to celebrate both Earth Day and the launch of their debut record. They will begin at noon for a solar-powered Earth Day celebration at Biosphere 2, north of Tucson. Admission to Biosphere 2 is $20 for adults, $10 with a CatCard.

    At Zia Records on Speedway at 4 p.m. they’ll perform again and unveil their first professional release — a seven-inch from Fort Lowell Records, with two songs, “”Come On, The Cross”” and “”Good Swords.”” The launch coincides with Record Store Day, an annual event that celebrates independently-owned music stores and promotes record sales over illegal downloads.

    Finishing up an exhausting day, Young Mothers are scheduled to have a free performance at Sky Bar, 536 N. Fourth Ave., around 10:30 p.m. 21+.

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