Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Mommy and Daddy-Duel at Dawn

September 1, 2005

mommyanddaddyBand: Mommy and Daddy

Album: Duel at Dawn

Best element: Sheer danceable creativity

Genre: Electro-punk

Website: www.mommyanddaddy.com

Label: Kanine Records (www.kaninerecords.com)

Band E-mail: solid@solidpr.com

I love to dance. Any type of dancing, in fact. Waltz, tango, salsa, disco, skanking, I’ll do it all. But there’s a special place in my heart for concert dancing- the spontaneous, arm-flailing, head-nodding, butt-shakin’, get-down-cause-the-music-says-so type dancing. Thankfully, a movement is finally reaching our starved ears in Oklahoma of bona-fide indie rockers concerned with making you dance. First, Mon Frere’s excellent debut EP crossed my desk, then I saw Ice Nine play a show at my local venue, and now Mommy and Daddy’s sophomore album Duel at Dawn is hitting my ears. Out of all of those, I think that Mommy and Daddy make me want to dance the most.

To get this out of the way: yes, this is a duo; yes, they are married; no, they don’t have kids; they got their name from telling their cat “Not now, Mommy and Daddy are practicing.” They’re extremely prolific, and they spend half of their time living in NYC and the other half on the road. That should get all the logistics out of the way.

Their music is off the charts on the cool factor. Consisting solely of programmed drums, extremely fuzzed-out bass, keys, Vivian Sarratt’s squawking vocals, and Edmond Hallas’s harmony vocals, they make hand-clapping, frenzy-inducing, sing-as-loud-as-you can adrenaline music. From the pulse-pounding, hand-clapping “Pretty Loser” to the charmingly hilarious bonus track, there is not a single dull moment on this nearly 40-minute album. Every song reveals a new shade of Mommy and Daddy, whether it be the infectious power of Vivian Sarratt’s squawk/yell (“Pretty Loser”), Sarratt’s ability to actually sing (“A Good Deal”), the band’s ability to create sonic chaos (the ear-splitting “Full”), their use of odd aesthetics (“Cops”), or their tendency to just rock out awesomely (“Lost the Plot”). Their sound is expansive as well- from short, hit-you-in-the-face-and-move-on rockers (“Franconia Road”), to long, nearly epic songs (“Way West Way”)- from fast songs (“Pretty Loser”) to slow songs (“So Far, So Good”) to mid-tempo songs (“The Streets Have Come Alive”). In short, everything you could ever want in a dance-rock album is here. Add on the bonuses of being dirty as the ground you walk on and sexy as you wish you could be- and you’ve got gold.

There is nothing to knock on this album. They’ve got their core sound down, they’ve expanded upon it in every direction, it’s catchy, it’s fun, it rocks. It’ll make you dance. It’ll make you yell. It’s gotta be one of the best live shows ever. The creativity encapsulated on this album is truly unbelievable- there is literally not a single track that doesn’t just ooze with it. It seems that I’ve been had once again- I said that there was nothing better happening in the indie world than Mon Frere, and I was proved wrong by Mommy and Daddy. In the same genre, no less. I hope someone is laughing- cause I have to say this: Mommy and Daddy are at the top of their game, and that puts them at the top of indie rock.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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