“You’re all a bunch of phonies” has long been one of punk rock’s favorite accusations. Providing a fresh and funny take on that old gripe are the firebrands from London, Ontario — Single Mothers.
While first-gen punkers railed against flower power, Single Mothers take aim at the hipster, DIY and Etsy-crafter crowd, as well as any scene’s inevitable decline into self-parody.
On “Marbles,” from Negative Qualities (2014), vocalist Drew Thomson gargles in a snotty, Cobain-ian howl: “I don’t care about your first editions/ I don’t care about your typewriter ribbon.”
Later on that same track, he recites over chugging D.C.-hardcore and classic skate-punk: “She’s all like blah, blah, blah, blah/ Something about McSweeney’s/ Something about her thesis/ Something about its meaning.”
Elsewhere on “Overdose,” Thomson scolds: “The way you gotta match your outfits makes me feel sick/ How your haircut says ‘I’m so Toronto,’” drawing out the “so” with bored affectation.
“Drew is a writer,” Single Mothers’ guitarist Michael Peterson tells EW. “What influences him is a good story. If he’s not convinced or doesn’t buy what the author, lyricist or singer is trying to sell — he can’t be bothered.”
Musically, Peterson says The Replacements, The Hold Steady and Bikini Kill are influences of the band. And live, Single Mothers keep the energy level on constant overdrive.
“It’s very cathartic, for me, anyways,” Peterson says. ”It’s where all the bullshit comes out.”
Peterson adds (with unusual sentimentality when compared with the band’s cynical, sly humor) that an ideal Single Mothers gig has everyone, including the venue staff, “moshing together in unity, brotherhood and family.”
Mosh with Single Mothers as well as indie rockers Dobis and The Dirty Nil 7 pm Sunday, March 8, at Cozmic; $10 adv., $12 door. All ages.