Today is the Day – Animal Mother (2014)

Today is the DayAnimal Mother (Southern Lord Records, 14 October 2014)


Quite a while ago — way back at the beginning of 2014 — we shared some news about a new Today is the Day album, but then somehow totally dropped the ball on actually writing about the album itself once it came out later that year. But now seems like a good time to rectify that: this week the band has kicked off a North American tour to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the landmark album Temple of the Morning Star (and a whole slew of dates have been added for this fall as well), plus there’s a brand-new documentary called The Man Who Loves to Hurt Himself which recently had its world premiere and should soon be made available aux masses.

So you can find information about all that stuff if you scroll down into the comments section. But first, a look at that 2014 album, Animal Mother.


Today is the Day in Pittsburgh, 10 March 2013

Today is the Day, Pittsburgh, 10 March 2013


According to a contemporaneous interview with Invisible Oranges, a lot of this album stems from Austin reacting to his own mother’s death — and as a result, the powerfully melancholy feeling that has always pervaded the band’s music in a depressive, inner-turmoil kind of way, is now being expressed in a somewhat more external sense, focusing on interpersonal relationships among family and friends. This fits with the seemingly ‘maternal’ (or ‘parental’) viewpoint being presented in the lyrical content, particularly in the angrier harsh yelling in some of the album’s more aggressive tracks, such as “Discipline,” “Sick of Your Mouth,” “Masada,” and “Imperfection” with its somewhat awkward drum rhythms.

In that preview article three and a half years ago, I referred to the band as “The brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Steve Austin, plus whomever he happens to be surrounding himself with at a particular moment,” going on to state that “this project has continually evolved over the years, but whether the medium is harsh noise, violent grindcore outbursts, or lengthy ambient post-metal soundscapes, one constant has always been that Today is the Day communicates pure, raw emotion and pain.” All of this remains true on Animal Mother: raw emotion and pain are delivered in abundance, while incorporating all of the styles already mentioned — the signature blend of entropy and chaos with abruptly shifting personalities emerges here on tracks such as “Law of the Universe,” “Heathen,” and especially the penultimate “Outlaw” filled with dissonance, onerous sounds and venomous vocals.

However, the group’s ever-changing parlance has produced another facet throughout this record, as well — something almost akin to a Deftones sound: the title track comes complete with a synthetic-industrial-almost gothic vibe, and a warbly-underwater-type effect on vocals that are often whispered, or otherwise soft and vulnerable. This vocal style repeats in the penultimate track of the album’s first half, which is an acoustic version of “Outlaw” (and could easily have been lifted straight from White Pony); and later in “Mystic,” and closing track “Bloodwood” with its more lush orchestration (almost like the hidden bonus track from Purple).





Grab your copy of Animal Mother right here — then fill in any other gaps in your Today is the Day collection over here!


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5 responses to “Today is the Day – Animal Mother (2014)

    Directed and filmed by Anthony Short, The Man Who Loves To Hurt Himself takes a look at Steve Austin‘s nearly-three-decade-long career as a musician in Today is the Day and his reflection of his life. It explores how he balances life with his artistic passions and the undeniable effect his fans express to him about the life altering meaning it has had on them. Short spent two years following Austin around the US on tour, listening to his inner thoughts and questions about life like a fly on the wall. In his own words, he guides the watcher through his world by stream of consciousness. This reflects the conversations he has with himself in his head — a first-person account. If you were to have your life flash before your eyes right before you die, this film is what Steve Austin might see about himself.

    The Man Who Loves To Hurt Himself was selected to screen at the International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema in Nice, France, an offshoot of the world-famous Cannes Film Festival, taking place from May 13th through 20th. Anthony Short has been nominated for Best Director for the film.

    View a teaser and full trailer for the film here:


  2. Temple of the Morning Star is twenty years old this year!

    Today is the Day‘s seminal 1997-released Temple of the Morning Star album was recently featured in Decibel Magazine‘s Hall of Fame series, with a six-page centerfold feature in the April 2017 issue. The feature hits as the album sees its deluxe 20th anniversary edition reissue, remastered, out now through the band’s new label home of The End Records, each format of the reissue featuring bonus materials and more.



    Today is the DayTemple of the Morning Star 20th Anniversary Tour

    06 July – Brooklyn NY – Saint Vitus Bar
    07 July – Brooklyn NY – Saint Vitus Bar
    08 July – Baltimore MD – The Depot
    09 July – Trenton NJ – The Backstage at Championship Bar
    10 July – Norfolk VA – Charlie’s American Cafe
    11 July – Chapel Hill NC – Local 506 (w/ MAKE)
    12 July – Atlanta GA – The Masquerade
    13 July – Houston TX – Walters
    15 July – Dallas TX – The Curtain Club
    16 July – Austin TX – The Lost Well
    19 July – Phoenix AZ – Joe’s Grotto
    20 July – Upland CA – Gideon’s Hall
    21 July – San Francisco CA – The DNA Lounge
    22 July – Portland OR – Tonic Lounge
    23 July – Seattle WA – Highline
    25 July – Salt Lake City UT – Club X
    26 July – Denver CO – The Marquis Theater
    27 July – Kansas City MO – The Riot Room
    28 July – Chicago IL – Reggies
    29 July – Toronto ON – Hard Luck
    30 July – Montreal QC – L’Esco



    Today is the DayTemple of the Morning Star 20th Anniversary Tour

    02 September – Amityville NY – Amityville Music Hall
    03 September – Rochester NY – Bug Jar
    05 September – Ferndale MI – The Loving Touch
    06 September – Chicago IL – Reggie’s Music Joint
    07 September – Milwaukee WI – Club Garibaldi
    08 September – St. Paul MN – Amsterdam Bar
    09 September – Rock Island IL – Rock Island Brewing Co.
    10 September – St. Louis MO – Fubar
    11 September – Little Rock AR – Vino’s
    14 September – Nashville TN – The End
    15 September – Johnson City TN – The Hideaway
    16 September – Dayton OH – Rockstar Pro Arena
    17 September – Syracuse NY – The Lost Horizon
    19 September – Orrington ME – DJ’s Garage
    20 September – Portland ME – Geno’s Rock Club


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