RECORDINGS

Mother May I
Use Your Appetite for Spaghetti
(Crackpot Inc.)

Although Mother May I shows an unhealthy fascination with Guns N' Roses album titles (will it follow this up with The Illusion Destruction Incident?), the band's music is what used to be called power pop before a procession of wimpy bands with skinny ties ruined that classification.

To best describe its sound, you'd have to graft lush harmonies onto the Replacements or tack some balls onto the Records. Actually, this five-song CD's standout cut, "Bittersweet," best sums up Mother May I's sound: It's a bitter tale of postbreakup woes with a thumping backbeat that recalls midperiod Sweet, circa Desolation Boulevard. Singer Damon Hennessey has a distinctive, nasally voice that cuts through every power-trio flourish the band dishes out. Melody is king in Mother's house--witness the loving cover of the Association's "Never My Love." Stripped of its glee-club harmonies, it's a powerful rocker done perfectly straight with some excellent feedback thrown in as a bonus. The band has signed with Columbia Records for an early-1995 full-length release; only this set's "Meet You There" will be included, so buy up now and get a head start. By the way, the bassist for M.M.I. is, in fact, the real David Swafford.

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