Thursday, 12 April 2012

Review: Single Mothers - Self-Titled 7" EP

Single Mothers
Self-Titled 7” EP

Track Listing:
1. Christian Girls
2. Hell is My Backup Plan
3. Winter Coats
4. Baby

Let me start off by saying Touche Amore has never been my cup of tea, so I barely raised an eyebrow when their singer announced that he was starting a label and that he had already signed a band.  What did pique my attention was when I found out that the band was from my one-time hometown of London, Ontario and that they were punk/hardcore band that kept getting compared to the likes of the Hold Steady.  So I finally decided to get off my lazy ass and check out what Single Mothers was all about.    

First off, I am embarrassed that I slept on this band for even the short period of time I did (this EP is their first official release, although they have a Wild Party EP that’s worth checking out).  Single Mothers plays an interesting mix of melodic hardcore and catchy punk rock that is glazed over with a general “I drink, smoke, and fuck too much” sense of bravado/regret.  As an aging asshole I’m always skeptical of this hard-living brand of punk sleaze, but the music and lyrics both seem too honest and earnest to ignore or discount.  This EP has an impressive energy that runs through it, especially given its short length and stylistic variety, and should appeal to punk, hardcore, alcoholic kids alike.

Having said all of this, the most impressive part of this EP in my opinion is vocalist Drew Thomson’s ability to describe London, Ontario.  As a former Londoner, I can personally vouch for his portrayal of London as a place littered with coked-out university kids, a desolate downtown, and a winter bar scene that is populated predominantly by women freezing to death in mini-skirts.   The only other song that I can think of that  comes close to Thomson’s description of this frustrating and enigmatic place to live is Brutal Knight’s “Worst City”, but whereas that song is a strict condemnation of London, Single Mothers seems to use the city as a backdrop/foundation for debauchery and self-reflection.  Alright, I know everyone who isn’t from London is about to tell me to shut the fuck up, so I will.  Just go buy this record, no matter where you are from.

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