Indie pop bands can be a fun thing to review. Often they aren't afraid
to be quirky and odd and say things in surprising ways. Sometimes
it can even leave you surprised that you haven't heard them before
and that they aren't more popular. Take The Mommyheads, who
have released a retrospective album spanning their career called Finest
Specimens. As a critic who had never heard their music before,
I wasn't sure what to expect. Once I gave the album a fair listen,
it became obvious that this was a band that should have been more
popular than they were.
If there's anything that will keep you from really getting into the
band, it's going to be the production. It isn't fully polished and
feels like a low budget indie band. That said, it isn't bad and doesn't
distract from the songs themselves. Those songs are fun, often short,
and are almost always infectious. Take something as simple as "Spiders",
where lead singer Adam Elk sings about having an obsession
with spiders. The simple hook gets deep into your brain and the laid
back, casual music helps you to be moved along by the songs' brisk
pace. Then you have odd metaphors such as the ones found in "Like
A Brick." The song muses on what it's like to be a brick, holding
up people every day, serving a purpose despite not being alive. The
singer then wishes that he could find his purpose and that he could
hold up himself. It's not a metaphor found in the average song on
the subject, but it's clever and makes it stand out.
The rest of the album follows suit, with lyrics that are fun and
allow the listener to just enjoy the carefree pop music. Sometimes
that's all you really need out of an album. This will serve as a great
first introduction to The Mommyheads and shouldn't be passed over.
Any fan of pop music should add it to their library, it's a shame
the band didn't get more attention when they were first active in
the late eighties on through the nineties. But with their recent return,
perhaps they will be able to gain some more notoriety in the future.
I know this album has won them at least one new fan that will be waiting
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