Published Oct 07, 2014Press around Single Mothers' debut record routinely invites listeners to compare the band to the Hold Steady or the Replacements, situating the London, Ontario group in a tradition of smart, witty, Americana-tinged post-punk that they don't quite deserve. With Negative Qualities, Single Mothers' generic, ham-fisted approximation of the Swami Records catalogue has more in common with bands geographically closer, like the Dirty Nil or PUP, groups that have made it their mission to become punk's equivalent to a bar band.
There's nothing wrong with being a bar band, but it's hard to not tune out when they get to playing their originals. Single Mothers sound consistent throughout this set of ten beer-soaked songs, but after just 20 minutes, that consistency is far too homogenous and one-note to be interesting. The band come the closest with "Feel Shame," a song that exhibits a bit of restraint to temper their explosive brashness. (Dine Alone)