Apart from their name, the similarities between New Jersey punk band the Moms and the cast of “Dance Moms” are nonexistent — these guys play pure punk rock and roll. The group’s sound falls somewhere between bands like Joyce Manor, The Hotelier, Red City Radio and Iron Chic.
The Moms opened for A Loss for Words at the Studio at Webster Hall on April 11 and after their set two-thirds of the trio — singer/guitarist Joey Nestor and bassist/singer Jon Stolpe — sat down with WSN to talk about their formation and forthcoming album.
Nestor, Stolpe and drummer Don Saraceno are childhood friends who grew up playing in bands together. After high school, Nestor attended Rutgers University for a year, where Stolpe and Saraceno visited him on the weekends to participate in drunken college debauchery. It is also where the Moms, who formed in 2011, wrote the bulk of the material they play today.
Referring to the creative output and fun they had, but also to all the trouble they witnessed in New Brunswick, N.J., Stolpe and Nestor talked about the events that still influence the Moms’ music — in particular, their February EP “Blow Me,” a four-song release comprising tracks that will be on their first full-length album, due out this summer.
“The song ‘Front Row Tickets to the Cockfight’ is totally inspired by New Brunswick,” Nestor said. “You’d see kids get their faces beaten in with bricks.”
The EP’s tone fully reflects these issues.
“The whole EP is very heavy, pretty twisted, dark, emotional,” Stolpe said.
Other than New Brunswick and some personal matters, Nestor’s lyrics generally relate amusing stories written to complement the music, which the band writes collaboratively before adding words.
“I write about things I think are funny,” Nestor said. “There’s this one song on the new album about a guy who makes and sells bombs then gets caught. We called it ‘Business is Booming.’ The title of our new album, ‘Buy American,’ is a line from that song.”
Other themes on the new release include being broke, drinking, smoking, dropping out of school, joining the Navy and the 2012 apocalypse scare.
Musically, the Moms are a straightforward, modern punk band. The three-piece lineup only allows the band a guitar, bass and drums, but they set themselves apart from their peers with quippy lyrics, powerfully angry live shows and non-adherence to a specific subculture or genre.
“We play the blues and rock and roll, but cranked up louder and kind of out of key,” Stolpe said.
The Moms will release “Buy American” this summer, an album in that they already take pride in.
“It’s pretty much bonafide American rock and roll,” Stolpe said. “A lot of my favorite bands — Against Me!, Bayside, Taking Back Sunday — all put out really great records this year, but ours is still cooler.”
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 15 print edition. Alyssa Buffenstein is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.