Just before guitarist and vocalist, Eric Butler could get through the first chorus, a youthful remembrance of getting kicked and punched from moshing at pop-punk shows shot through my veins like a crusty Dr. Martens boot to the face.
Based out of Berkeley, California Mom Jeans burst onto the midwestern emo scene with their 2016 debut Best Buds and followed it with their 2018 sophomore release Puppy Love. Although those albums stayed true to Mom Jean’s emo-leaning sound and honest lyrics discussing mental health and relationships they were perfect for listening to alone in the dark, sobbing into a pillow.
With a refreshing new sound and energy that resembles the infectiously sweet sound of the early ‘00s, pop-punk era, Butler aims to turn that depressing sobbing into head-bobbing smiles. Their latest release Sweet Tooth, emphasizes simple memorable melodies and heavy-hitting guitar riffs in combination with catchy lyrics that would be perfect to scream along to at a concert or even in your bedroom.
The opening track “Something Sweet,” is a fun upbeat song that sounds like a throwback to the glory days of pop-punk. With an insanely catchy opening chorus that promises to get stuck in your head, Butler yells: “Give me something sweet/So I can make it through the week/Don’t care if I end up with cavities.”
Keeping in tune with the upbeat pop-punk sound, the track that follows “What’s Up” starts with the band’s grooviest drum beat and funniest guitar riff that would make any punk rocker get up and start pogo-ing.
It is apparent that Mom Jeans attempted to write an album with a broader listening appeal while still maintaining the lyrical themes from previous releases shines on the track “Graduating Life.” Although it is a softer acoustic track compared to the rest of the album it shows Mom Jeans’ lyrical ability to adapt to different sounds. Butler painfully sings away: “The future seemed so bright / But you just can’t wait to graduate life / This moment feels so nice, but you just can’t wait to graduate life.”
With Sweet Tooth, Mom Jeans begs to prove that pop-punk isn’t dead.