Despite sound issues that threatened to overwhelm the band at moments — faulty mics that led to Thomson's vocals disappearing for a song here and there, extended tuning breaks and a faulty bass that led bassist Evan Redsky to knock his entire amp cabinet, Single Mothers still impressed with a powerful set, and that appreciation was given back to the band with an energetic crowd showing.
For a brief moment, it looked like the show may not happen after the Studio (where the show was, up until last night, planned to take place at) was shut down due to a drug bust. Yet the show must go on, and in some aspects, a similar narrative applied to Single Mothers —the band broke up and put out one final release, only to receive enough attention to take another stab at it.
Don't think of this as a reunion or any sort of a comeback, though. With the release of debut album Negative Qualities on the horizon, the band saw it fit to devote much of their set to airing material from the album. From the sound of songs like "Blood Pressure," "Marbles," "Half-Lit" and "Feel Shame," Single Mothers have only refined their ability to write pummeling, noisy punk. Yet it was playing "Winter Coats," from their self-titled EP, that lit the attentive Edmonton crowd on fire.
Dressed in all black (with the exception of denim-wearing Thomson), the band looked like a gang and played like one too, oozing anger and aggression with every move. Their stage presence is fantastic. Thomson is a natural frontman, bringing out a menace that felt Liam Gallagher-esque, yet his energy was nothing but menacing as jumped up and down with gusto and contorted his body during every scream. Thomson's use of speak-shout vocals have been compared to bands such as the Hold Steady, but one cannot imagine such a comparison when Thomson looks like he could start a fight with anyone at any moment and not lose any sleep over it.
Single Mothers ended their set with the one-two punch of "Baby" and "Christian Girls," off their self-titled EP, whipping the crowd into a frenzy one last time. It was a short set for a band of their calibre, but an ultimately satisfying one.