Review: MOM AND DAD – 21st Century Blues and a Quick Word with Ben Sword

The music in this scene never stops surprising me. When I first learned who MOM AND DAD were, my immediate impression was, “Ok…so you have one half of Dopapod, and it’s the rhythm. This is going to be magical!” And, well, I was half right.

MOM AND DAD is absolutely magical – and absolutely nothing like the rhythm of Dopapod. In fact, what I have learned is that to assume that sort of thing is to do these creative writing minds absolutely no justice. This three piece packs a massive punch of their own and it’s worth talking about. The band’s upcoming second album, 21st Century Blues, is a heavy stepping trip through multiple genres, styles, and concepts and reminded me that music can still be so incredibly diverse within one record. And I love that!

The album’s first track, Video Games, comes in hard and electric like a transformer fire. It has a great heavy sonic-rock type of flavor that is exciting and fun. Bonus: it’s super easy to sing along with! The second and title track, 21st Century Blues, is a bluesy (obviously) brooding modern tune about waiting for that return text or that social media “like”,  and it’s absolutely necessary for the world today to hear. It’s hilariously accurate. I can see myself sing-quoting this super fun, electric feeling song for years to come. Don’t miss the fantastic solo at the 3 quarter mark! 

One of my favorite tracks on the record is Caffeine. This song is an accurate audible representation of what my brain feels like on actual caffeine, which I consume in enormous quantities. I can feel each electrode firing with each drum hit, each bend of a guitar string, each electronic key sound. Plus the bass line in this song is creatively laid out and really cool. Another favorite of mine is Help Myself. It has a throw back dirty rock vibe with guitar solo fire and some really great vocals. All in all, this is a stellar record. It’s a super fun trip from a band who quite obviously doesn’t take themselves too seriously. They absolutely could, it would be well deserved seeing as they are incredibly solid musicians and stand out folks in this scene. But they don’t, and that makes me like them so much more. It’s also worth a mention that there was a SIX YEAR GAP between their last record and this one! I am sure there are some folks who have been waiting very patiently for this album, and they will not be let down.

I love to get band perspectives on their cool records when I can, so I threw a few questions at MOM AND DAD guitar guy Ben Sword to see what came out!

APM: How did MOM AND DAD come together initially?


Ben: “Chuck and I have been playing together since we were seventeen.  We both attended Berklee College of Music, where we met Neal. After scraping some songs and sounds together in Neal’s basement, we started playing shows in Boston in 2010.”

APM: What was it like writing the album? Were these songs that came together quickly, or grew slowly since your last release (2014)?


Ben: “Some of the songs on this album were written recently, and a few of them were written some years ago.  Once we chose the songs to start tracking, piecing the album together came naturally. We even have a few tasty leftovers that we did not use for this album.”

APM: Any special recognition for folks who helped out on the album?


Ben: “NO!…….jk.  We tracked drums and a few other things at Mountain Star Studio in Black Hawk, CO.  Our good friend Jocko at More Sound Studio in Syracuse mixed and mastered the album.  Sarah Kirsch gave us some incredible vocals on the song “Video Games.”  Larry Elefante provided the photo that was the inspiration for the album cover.”

APM: What are your plans for 2020?


Ben: “Another album.  Probably of the “consistently loud” variety.”

And there you have it, folks!
21st Century Blues is super creative and fun. Each song is an exciting individual and I love that aspect of it. On a first listen through, you have no idea what is coming next. Despite playing all over the place this past festival season, I have yet to catch these guys live. This record has made that a personal mission for me, so I hope their 2020 plans include a trip to play the tri-state area. If you are in the Denver, CO area, do yourself a favor and head out for the band’s album release show at The Larimer Lounge on November 7! Keep an eye to the band’s page for more shows and goods on what the band has coming up at http://www.momanddad.band . Check out 21st Century Blues as soon as you can! I recommend it highly!

See you out there, friends!

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