Scouting Report: Single Mothers

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(Photo by Ben Pobjoy)

It’s been a long time since a debut as raw and assured as Single Mothers’ Negative Qualities has come along.

Young and tough and uncomfortable with the world, this Ontario outfit come out swinging in what can only be described as a sheer sonic blitz.

Singer Drew Thomson is impatient, aggravated and bristling with anger–he’s as close to an aural rendering of Saul Bellow’s “open wound of a man” as you’re ever going to get. Thomson stalks through these numbers with more menace than Darth Maul behind that pesky forcefield and his delivery is redolent with a perfect balance of anxiety and rage.

The feral blast of “Overdose” is the most ferocious album opener since The Pixies’ “Debaser”; “Crooks” sizzles with pure punk rock energy and “Marbles” has all the literate bite of anything off Lifter + Puller’s Fiestas and Fiascos. 

Elsewhere, “Feel Shame” is pure battle and crunch; “Blood Pressure” brings to mind early D.O.A. and the album-closing “Money” is the longest and catchiest number of all. It’s a searing call-and-response that finds Thomson admitting, “All I wanna do is sit here complaining.”

And all you’ll want to do is sit there and listen.

Single Mothers’ guitarist Michael Peterson fills out Stereo Embers’ Scouting Report questionnaire:

FULL NAME:
Micheal James Peterson

HOMETOWN:
London, ON, Canada

WEBSITE:
http://singlemothersgang.com

RECORD LABEL:
Hot Charity (World) & Dine Alone Records (Canada)

DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND IN ONE SENTENCE:
Loud, abrasive, & musical

PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT:
Creating and releasing our debut full-length

THE SONG YOU WISH YOU’D WRITTEN:
“Heart and Soul” by Huey Lewis and the News / “Easy Lover” by Phil Collins

 

FIVE MUSICIANS YOU ADMIRE:
My band. Then I don’t care. Ha.

ALBUM YOU CAN’T STOP LISTENING TO:
LP1 – FKA Twigs

DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A KID:
Loud, abrasive, & musical

THREE THINGS THAT KEEP YOU UP AT NIGHT:
Crippling fear of not being successful.
Inability to come to terms with my own mortality.
The worry that I will always let down those close to me.

LAST BOOK YOU READ:
Currently reading Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

FAVORITE MUPPET:
Marley & Marley. AHHH HA HA HA HA HA

CATS OR DOGS?
Both. I can’t bothered to take a hard stance for or against either.

THINGS WE’D FIND IN THE TRUNK OF YOUR CAR:
A single shoe (WHERE DID THE OTHER ONE GO?)

HARDEST PART ABOUT YOUR JOB:
Never being comfortable ever / lack of sleep.

FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU GET TO A NEW CITY:
Say the name wrong, out loud. Then find coffee. If there’s water nearby, I’ll check that out.

WHAT WORD DO YOU OVERUSE IN CONVERSATION?:
“Essentially.”

WHAT WILL THE TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY BE?:
Micheal, We Hardly Knew Ye

FAVORITE LATE NIGHT TV SHOW:
Don’t really watch TV…

DRINK OF CHOICE:
I’m super posh so a Perrier with ice and slice of lime

BEST ALBUM TO PLAY AFTER A BREAK-UP AND YOU’RE HOLDING A BOTTLE OF VODKA AND SOMETHING SHARP:
So dark. I’d probably play “How’s It Going To Be” by Third Eye Blind on repeat and sing along, crying and all shitty like, “I WANNA GET MYSELF BACK INTO YOUUUUU”

 

 

INDULGENCE YOU REFUSE TO GIVE UP:
Garlic pita chips.

SOMEONE SAYS, “Don’t tell anyone I told you this.” Do you?
Absolutely not. But I definitely make it seem like I might have.

WORDS TO LIVE BY
Expect nothing, appreciate everything. Be present.