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Mommyheads: Genius Killer

You gotta love New York based Mommyheads for still making relevant pop music statements that harken to the days of bands like XTC and Queen. Well, with their new album, their fourth disc of new material in the last few years, those references I made regarding their albums Future You (4 Stars) and New York King of Pop (4.5 Stars), still apply but I think you could also add ELO and Supertramp into the mix as well.

The lineup has remained relatively unchanged; Adam Elk (vocals, guitar, synths), Michael Holt (keyboards, vocals), Dan Fisherman (drums, vocals), Jason McNair (bass), and their newest member Jackie Simons (guitars, vocals). A couple of guest musicians include jazzers Larry Goldings (organ) and John “Scrapper” Sneider (trumpet).

The first track “Impulse Item” combines a little ELO here and a little XTC there, and of course the Mommyheads make it all their own. But those vocal harmonies take me back to the glory days of Jeff Lynne, just so tasty. The orchestrations, strings, and general quirky nature reads XTC, and you can take that as a major complement. The title track is even quirkier with creative sound manipulations, luxurious bass, super catchy vocals, and backing organ. Again, I hear a little XTC here. I love the bottom end in the 10cc-like “She’s a Fighter” and in “We Almost Lost It All”, the band offer up a nice melodic ballad without losing their creativity. “Distil Your Love Into That Dying Light” features a cool use of keys and an irresistible funky groove, and in “Idealist” there are some darker tones coursing through the song’s art pop backbone. Another great vocal arrangement will surely delight fans of the band. Another favourite is “Privilege”, where the guitars are more electric, the groove deeper, and use of trumpet adds something a little different to the band’s sound.

Genius Killer is another superb album from the Mommyheads. If you are not familiar with the band now is your chance. If you appreciate highly intelligent and well-crafted pop music and dig the bands mentioned above, this will be very easy to recommend.

Track Listing:
1. Impulse Item (6:13)
2. Genius Killer (4:29)
3. She’s a Fighter (5:15)
4. We Almost Lost It All (5:03)
5. Distil Your Love Into That Dying Light (4:44)
6. Idealist (4:53)
7. Privilege (3:30)
8. Bittersweet (5:00)
9. One and the Same (5:24)
10. First Five Seconds (5:20)

Added: March 7th 2023
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 693
Language: english

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