For a bunch of nerds, the punk/DIY scene sure seems to have an odd fixation with sports. Just the other night, I saw a band called Soccer Mommy play a punk show at a functioning batting cage on Girard Avenue.
Along with Philly-based openers Past Life and Witch Bomb, Soccer Mommy played their first ever headlining show Nov. 12 at Everybody Hits. Soccer Mommy are currently supporting their recent album, “Collection,” which was released Aug. 7 via Fat Possum Records.
I didn’t arrive in time to catch Witch Bomb’s set, but I did listen to three of their songs on their Bandcamp page before hopping on the El. And I must say that I was a pretty big fan of what I was hearing. After the show, I went back and listened to their entire EP, “glitter shade,” which was independently released Jan. 30. Overall, it’s a real jangly slowcore delight. From what I can remember it sounded a bit like what would result if you played a Hoops or Mac DeMarco record played at 33 rpm. I will definitely be going in for another listen sometime soon.
I was able to catch Past Life’s performance, and what a performance it was. The band played passionately and energetically, the frontman even occasionally making his way into the crowd, breaking any barriers that existed between the band and the audience. I know “emo” can be a four letter word, but I’ll say this: Past Life write some pretty emotional pop punk songs and they do it really well. They seemed really tight and it was clear that their chemistry together is one of their strongest assets as a band.
Sophie Allison — singer, songwriter and mastermind behind Soccer Mommy — came onstage shortly after Past Life’s performance alongside a backing band I didn’t recognize. I had just seen Soccer Mommy at the First Unitarian Church a couple months ago, and she had a completely different band. I guess she can’t find any loyal band mates. Someone should let her know that I would be down to play in her band if she’s ever short a member.
She opened up her set with “Try,” which I thought was a great choice, because it’s a very good song. Then, she played two songs I hadn’t heard before: “Henry” and “Last Girl.” Both songs impressed me a lot and inspired me to add them to my Spotify music library.
Other highlights of the set included some songs off Soccer Mommy’s new album “Collection,” such as “Out Worn” and “Benadryl Dreams.” Towards the end of the set, Allison’s bandmates left her alone in front of the batting cages to perform a couple of songs by herself. She played “Allison,” which is the album opener on “Collection,” followed by a new, unreleased song.
Allison has a very pretty voice; it’s not showy at all, but rather drawn back and modest. There’s a certain level of emotion and intimacy that really comes out when she sings her gentle melodies. Soccer Mommy is probably considered indie rock, but Allison definitely leans a little bit towards pop punk and emo, so if you don’t mind some of that in a song, you’ll love Soccer Mommy.