Published Apr 05, 2013The walls of Call the Office in London are decorated with advertisements for acts that have played the city's landmark venue in the past, like Radiohead and Frank Black. Tonight, local post-hardcore favourites Single Mothers returned to London after kicking off the year with a long and extensive touring schedule. After signing to Hot Charity in the States and Dine Alone Records for Canadian distribution, the band headed to Los Angeles to record their debut and later embarked on their very first tour of the UK in support of hardcore veterans the Bronx. Since the release of their self-titled EP in 2009, the hype surrounding the band has been consistently building and it seems as though their stalwart work ethic is finally paying off.
Drew Thomson informs me that since forming the band in 2008 as a means of seeking revenge upon an ex-girlfriend, Single Mothers have been through no fewer than 16 members. Constant in-fighting and issues between members led to inevitable dysfunction. Even Thomson himself, the only remaining member of the original line-up, was forced to leave the band briefly in 2011 to go to work as a prospector in Swastika, ON. Appropriately, the band's fragmented history is remembered by the slogan that graces their facebook page: "Single Mothers broke up in 2009 and have been playing shows ever since." Indeed, it seems that the band had been prepared to call it quits until the Single Mothers EP gained a cult following and quickly sold out. Thomson returned from Northern Ontario and the band set off on a path of destruction.
Single Mothers opened with the heavy, recklessly energetic tracks "Christian Girls" and "Hell (Is My Backup Plan)," two favourites from the self-titled EP. The cynically narrative style of Thomson's lyrics brings to mind bands like the Hold Steady, combined with band's dangerous energy, reminiscent of Iceage. "This ain't a date its just coffee," he bellows on "Christian Girls" in his distinctly throat-shredding howl. Not long into the show, a mosh ensues as the band debut some of their newest tracks from the forthcoming full-length. The booze-fuelled party atmosphere in Call the Office felt completely appropriate for Single Mothers' quasi-homecoming show. At one point Thomson thanked the Bronx for bringing them to London, England before informing the audience that "you're in my house now."