Album Review: The Mommyheads — New Kings of Pop

The cover art for The Mommyheads’ New Kings of Pop immediately calls to mind Kraftwerk and DEVO. But in keeping with the title, what this New York City band has on its collective mind is far more tuneful and conventional. Which isn’t to suggest that the music lacks adventurousness. Intelligent, thoughtful lyrics are supported by superb, uncluttered music that will leave its indelible mark on your memory long after you’ve listened. Why exactly The Mommyheads haven’t broken through to become globally popular remains one of life’s little mysteries. All I can say is that I cont myself fortunate to have discovered them.

If you’re looking for musical touchstones, The Mommyheads remind me just a little bit of XTC, though their sound is distinctly American in character. The group deftly weds ambitious musical structures to pop style. Even when they employ syncopated, off-kilter beats, the music is so solidly rooted in melody that you might not even notice. “Take Me as I am” sounds a bit like the lighter moments of early Wings crossed with the slightly dark character of Temple of Low Men era Crowded House. But then the title track delivers a piano-based tune that may well make listeners think of Jellyfish. Great stuff.

Learn more about The Mommyheads by reading my 2018 interview/feature.