Mom Jeans.
best buds


4.5
superb

Review

by ian b. USER (43 Reviews)
July 3rd, 2017 | 85 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Comedic catharsis.

If you hadn’t noticed, emo as a genre has spiraled into a period of nonchalance (in a sense) and apathy with their aesthetic/writing. It’s not how emo necessarily used to be, where bands just didn’t care in a negative way and were somewhat nihilistic. Emo bands of the underground in 2017 just don’t care. Nothing nihilistic or necessarily negative about it, some of these bands just don’t give a *** whatsoever. That’s okay though, in some cases that’s given the genre the refreshing sensibilities it needs to stay interesting after being around for so long. In some cases, that’s not necessarily true, and bands just wind up looking ***ing stupid, but I digress. With a band name called mom jeans and an album cover where they look just stoned out of their mind, we already have a pretty good idea of what the album might entail (spoiler alert; they don’t care).

Now don’t let the name and album cover get through your head that this a comedic effort. Some of these songs are so painfully honest and dreadful that you just kinda feel like you see some of yourself in the lyrics. It’s kinda like this one hat I saw at Target that read “best dad ever” in small print on a soft baseball cap. It appeared funny, but i knew it’s just gonna be worn by 15-23 year olds that have severe emotional issues. May or may not be why I bought it, besides the point though. Certain songs like “Scott Pilgrim vs My GPA” certainly give off this aesthetic with the fairly quirky song title but within the songs lies some of the most triumphant and cathartic vocal harmonies paired with horns that remind me of nothing else i’ve really heard before. Of course, it’s an emo record still and songs like opener “Death Cup” still cater to that audience but, like I previously stated, this is an unequivocal asset for the record . Considering the opening lyrics, coupled with twinkly guitar, state “I think it’s about time that I warned you I might cry in front of you,” this is about emo as it gets lyrically. The mawkish lyrics, however, never undermine the catchiness of the band’s hooks. The chorus for “Death Cup,” for instance, has pretty much been stuck in my head since whenever I first listened and rated it. But, like I said, some of these lyrics feel so honest and cathartic it’s almost painful even for the listener. Sure, it’s cheesy at times, but that generally comes with a lot of emo nowadays anyways.

But the thing that make mom jeans step out from the bunch really is the fact that their cheesiness feels self aware and is in some cases just for ironic comedy. They’re kinda like a kid that would make fun of your shoes when they’re wearing 3-year-old beat up Chuck Taylors and are aware of it. best buds is like an insult from an incredibly self deprecating person. It’s aware of its influences and tendencies to lean towards some of the genre’s tropes but is overall self aware at heart and really means nothing but good even for how negative it can be in tone. Referring back to opener “Death Cup”, the song title serves as a reference to beer pong, but at the same time (taking context into consideration) it can be used to reference the sudden end of anything (in the case of the song, a relationship) and everything along with the sort of realization that comes with. There’s also a lot of coming to terms with growing up and getting over it in general within the lyrical content of the record. All over best buds there’s talk of wasting time away and perpetually sleeping alone, which positions vocalist Eric Butler in close proximity to his emo contemporaries. This is where however, the introspective and more-often-than-not clever lyrics come in and save the record from most of its faults.

Of course the record isn’t entirely reliant on its lyrics though. The surprisingly crisp production amplifies the best aspects of the leads and actually audible bass work, while the drums provide a more than solid scaffold for the rest of the instrumentation to build off of. The cymbals sound a little bit muddled out, but that is probably the only legitimate complaint to be had about the mix and production. The guitars of course feel twinkly, because it is an emo record, but they don’t feel overdone like they would on say a You Blew It! record. The inclusion of an acoustic guitar evokes a kind of different, more college-indie influenced vibe that definitely adds to the record to an extent. It does give somewhat of a campy pop punk vibe in some places, especially on track “Movember”, but something tells me that they intended for that tone to add a level of ironic comedic value to the track. Plus the song is saved by solid lyricism and a well above average guest performance from Sarah Levy. The lead guitar contributions are definitely one of the primary highlights on this record. Intro riffs to songs like “Girl Scout Cookies” and “Edward 40hands” the latter half of which is played over a dialogue sampled from Bob’s Burgers, which makes it all the much better. So really, as heavily as the lyrics play into making this album as solid as it is, the instrumentation - coupled with the production - lay down a solid, if not even better, foundation for the lyrics as they run through a range of millennial concerns.

To conclude, the record dabbles heavily in comedy, and yet it is riddled with hard, introspective catharsis. There’s catchy vocal lines all over this thing that’ll have you crying in the most passionate drunken singalong imaginable. The guitars provide a melodic and fitting background for the sound they’re attempting, and seem to soar past their contemporaries in that aspect. The drums provide a raw and punk edge to the twinkly guitars/vocals, and give a sense of dynamic to the record that cannot be understated. Part of the main appeal of this record is that these guys don’t really take themselves seriously, and that is certainly present well throughout the record, enacting more rights than it does wrongs. In some cases, it’s still an emo record, but this isn’t inherently a bad thing. This record isn’t the next The Devil And God and that’s perfectly okay because it doesn't try to be, nor does it have to. The comedic catharsis aspects of this record provide a unique ideology to a genre that desperately yearns for that exact thing. best buds is everything about modern emo done right in almost every aspect, and then some.

Listen here: https://momjeansca.bandcamp.com/album/best-buds



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ianblxdsoe
July 3rd 2017


1890 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thought this pretty desperately needed a review. also i was buzzed when i wrote about 3/4 of this so if there's any issues lmk and i'll fix what i can, but jack did a godlike job at proofreading imo so i think it's fine. constructive criticism is always appreciated as usual. also enjoy the one time i'll prob ever have two reviews on the front page at the same time lol been on a writing kick lately i guess already kinda started another review but it's a very important one to me so i don't know how long it'll take or if i'll even publish it

Digging: Denzel Curry - TA13OO

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 3rd 2017


2247 Comments


yeeee dude, great review. there's a lot of good points you make here like the balance between good humour and emotional catharsis, and you come off really enthusiastic about the album which is always refreshing. keep it up pal ")

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2017


2482 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Some of the word choice is a little questionable, but I kind of feel like it adds to the review in some instances. In others, not so much, like the phrase "with a band name called mom jeans," the "called" is a little awkward and could simply be "a band name like 'mom jeans'" or something. Sentences like the one with "don’t let the name and album cover get through your head" could be restructured, too, so it's a little easier to read, for example: "Now don't let the name and cover mislead you, the album isn't wholly a comedic effort" or something similar, even: "Now don't let the name and album cover mislead you into thinking that this is a comedic effort." (Although, the topic sentence does need a bit more clarification because your thesis is about comedy and catharsis.)



Otherwise, love the review, dude, it's legitimately fantastic, and this album deserves it. Like I said, just some of the phrasing/wording. But I'll take a couple awkward sentences over a lack of personality, which your writing has an ample amount of. Glad you're on a writing kick, it'll only improve, and I look forward to that. Hard pos.

Digging: Mitski - Be the Cowboy

TumsFestival
July 3rd 2017


2447 Comments


Good review! Got a friend who keeps trying to get me to check this album

AdolfChrist
July 3rd 2017


16962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

damn, this is fun shit. great summer album.

Digging: Moribund - Oracular Eyes

AdolfChrist
July 3rd 2017


16962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

im gonna have to disagree with your "they really dont care" sentiment. the song titles and album cover and whatnot might say that, but they play pretty tight and the music obviously had a lot of thought put into it.

Archelirion
July 3rd 2017


5561 Comments


Looks like I'm gonna have to give this a bash ^ ^ Good review fella!

ianblxdsoe
July 3rd 2017


1890 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks for all the nice words guys!

Drifter
July 3rd 2017


13456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hell yeah been meaning to return to this since clearing my ratings. Always felt like a 4/4.5

schoonda
July 3rd 2017


1336 Comments


casually listened to this a while back but I reckon I need to give this a proper jam. great review, these guys are cool

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2017


23473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

niceeeee dude. this is a 3.5 for me cuz of the vocals but this still slays

schoonda
July 4th 2017


1336 Comments


with you there on the vocals con

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2017


23473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

a bit too much tbh

schoonda
July 4th 2017


1336 Comments


its the only thing that's held me back from diving in

ianblxdsoe
July 4th 2017


1890 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

idk i dig the vocals on some tracks, some songs it feels like a little much. but then again i can actually listen to tiny moving parts which is about as grating as it gets. the vocals on Death Cup and Scott Pilgrim are catchy as fuck though imo

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2017


23473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

nice review btw. i feel like the criticisms have already been made but yeah i loved the honesty and rawness of this, mathches the album well (:

schoonda
July 4th 2017


1336 Comments


I actually didn't mind the vocals on celebrate, bit grating in bits but I found them easier to get into than these guys.

ianblxdsoe
July 4th 2017


1890 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah i just try to be honest with my writing and i just suck at grammar lol thanks tho my dude means a lot comin from u resident sputnik emo god

ianblxdsoe
July 4th 2017


1890 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah Celebrate was not nearly as bad their vocalist found his sound definitely. good ass album. his vocals on their previous efforts were way more inaccessible though imo

schoonda
July 4th 2017


1336 Comments


con truly is the emo god here, every album I suss out he has already rated it, it's crazy.

yeah fair enough, I haven't checked out their previous stuff so I can't really comment on those records



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