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NYC based Sorry Mom just released their debut album “babyface”, a mostly punk rock album with some metal influences that is instantly relatable to the teen girls and young adults in a way that pulls no punches and is unapologetically in-your-face. The album’s musical style is a definite throwback to the late 90’s/early 00’s era of punk-metal-grunge and has feeling of the band that recorded a basement record to hand out to fans at underground and indie music events – a breath of fresh air from the overly processed and digitized pop music that dominates the offerings of most currently played musical acts.

The lyrics have a feel of loose construction rather than strict writing that adds a certain raw visceral feel to the themes of youth angst, struggle for identity and self-acceptance, the agony of a growing up in an environment that must be overcome, only to find oneself still be screaming to be heard. Drinking, smoking, hookups, and exploring one’s sexuality and identity are present in this album, which presents a much different view of growing up and dealing with being a young adult in today’s world than the current popular music on the radio, especially for those in urban settings.

Tracks like “Shaving My Legs”, “Hiccup”, and “Getting Sick” are absolute raging bangers. The frantic drumming, repetition of lyrics, and heavily distorted guitars drive home the anger, the hurt, and frustration of the modern youth experience, and there is some definite metal influences lyrically with use of some vocal screams, although there is a feeling of something being held back vocally that wants to break out – this may of course be a deliberate artistic choice. Moving on to “You Scare Me” this track is probably the most unique on the album with plenty of “Yee-Haws” and a country feel. Who knew country rhythms, instruments, and banjo would work so well on a punk track? This is one fusion that pays off and really stands out. “Town Clown” has a musical sound and feel much like Radiohead’s hit “Creep” with solid vocals, stripped down instrumental work and instantly relatable lyrics. “Awesome Party – Reprise” is a track of nostalgia and member-berries that evokes the feelings of still unresolved past being confronted in a reunion type of setting, an awkward encounter where one is trying to convince themselves they have grown up and moved on, by saying so repeatedly out loud.

“I Saw Jesus on a Basketball Hoop” is a short track but probably speaks the loudest. Here we listen as the curtain is ripped off issues such a LGBTQA+ struggles and the harassment and judgment that comes with them, there is several mentions of inner struggle, a strong depiction of mental health issues, body dysmorphia, and comments on sexuality from the point of view of somebody who feels very much on the outside. “Teeth” is another track that speaks to seeking self-acceptance, while “Stoop Kid” talks about the difficulty of coming to terms with the past, the blame one places on themselves, often unearned, and the shame and embarrassment that makes the person want to hide who they are and create a new narrative of their life to not only protect themselves, but to avoid the judgement and possibly pity of others.

Overall, Sorry Mom has constructed a solid debut album, and there is a lot of potential here. Many issues and themes on the album may be uncomfortable to some, but good music should challenge and explore difficult ideas, something that is not done as much in the modern music industry outside of Hip-Hop/Rap. There is some experimentation present in the band’s developing sound, and much of it pays off. If one enjoys music by acts such as Hole, Halestorm, or Bikini Kill, then Sorry Mom should be the next album on your list. It will be interesting to watch this band evolve going forward, as they give the impression of a coming musical force of nature.

Grade B+

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