Years ago I heard a song called "Box" by The Mommyheads on a compilation and was transfixed. The track, a neat blend of XTC and lite Zappa-isms, was supple and concise. And, thankfully, there's more of that sort of thing on the band's new record, Soundtrack To The World's End, out this Friday.
Sure, "Crooked Picture" swings a bit, and "Antidote For The Ascent Of Humanity" has a lilting near-ska bounce to it, but it's the more Beatles-y numbers here ("Three", "Time Will Tell") that warm the heart (and ears). Elsewhere, "Thank You For The Songs" offers up some easy pleasures that recall numbers from Elliott Smith and Jon Brion, while "Phantom Limb" soars amid a few passages that sound a lot like late-period Police offerings. For all this disparate praise, it's worth noting a certain consistency here that allows the sound of The Mommyheads to be distinctive, even amidst the bits and pieces that recall other, worthy points of inspiration.
If you are, like me, thankful to see the return of The Mommyheads, seek out Soundtrack To The World's End when it's released at the end of this week.
[Photo: Uncredited promotional picture]