Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Resurrection Band - Mommy Don't Love Daddy Anymore
   
Musical Style: Hard Rock Produced By: Resurrection Band & Roger Heiss
Record Label: Light/Retroactive Country Of Origin: USA
Year Released: 1981/2017 Artist Website: Resurrection Band
Tracks: 11 Rating: 80%
Running Time: 36:21

Resurrection Band - Mommy Don't Love Daddy Anymore

The Resurrection Band 1981 fourth full length album Mommy Don’t Love Daddy Anymore is often overlooked in hard music circles, probably because it lives in the shadows of its widely acclaimed (by critics and fans alike) predecessor Colours from 1980.  Often deemed ‘the greatest Resurrection Band album of all time’, a particular in which I do not agree, Colours leaves better impression (at least to this reviewer) as the most consistently heavy album of the group’s three-decade career.  MDLDA, in contrast, did not always hit hard as Colours, but it also found ‘Rez Band’ branching out and imbuing its signature seventies influenced hard rock sound with aspects of blues-rock, pop, classic rock and even punk wave.  As noted by vocalist and guitarist Glenn Kaiser in an interview with Cornerstone magazine prior to the group entering the studio to record MDLDA: “Were trying to write music that keeps current with the times.  It’s (MDLDA) definitely rock and roll, but there’s a lot of different strains in the music”.  

Where the two albums coincide is lyrical direction by sharing Rez Band’s penchant for social conscious awareness.  Colours, for instance, while not concept related dealt with the plight of the inner city, as found in tracks such as “N.Y.C.”, “Beggar In The Alleyway” and “City Streets”.  MDLDA built upon similar themes, but it also addressed child abuse, divorce, those with disabilities and apathy among the church and believers.  Commented co-lead vocalist Wendi Kaiser (from the same interview): “So much of our material for each album has to do with what we’ve experienced that year, both we as a community (Jesus People USA), and the world as a whole.  We’re trying to speak to the particular problems of this generation”. 

Glenn offers further insight regarding Rez Band’s motives in carrying out such a role: “The purpose the Lord put the band together for haven’t changed and that basic gut-level attitude, that motivation is why we are doing what we’re doing.  I think the Lord wanted to really work that in us, a real disciple’s heart, so it wouldn’t just be ‘Let’s do music for music’s sake’, but a real ministry, an outreach, as a way to touch people’s lives.

“Jesus said we should go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.  He also said we should make disciples of all nations and observe whatsoever He commanded us.  We take that burden as a real burden.  We feel as a band that we are trying to fulfill that mission (not just a personal whim) to share the Gospel, to make disciples”.

Originally a Light Records release on vinyl and cassette, MDLDA did not see re-issue on CD until 1991 (also Light).  It was later re-mastered and re-issued twice by Retroactive Records, with the first in 2004 (jewel case) and second July of 2017 (4-panel digi pak). 

“Stark/Spare” opens the album in straight on hard rocking fashion.  The song plows its length to unabashed guitars and John Herrin’s steady drum presence, with Wendi lending her trademark raspy voice to its impertinent verses and every bit aggressive ‘stark/spare an’ tell me who cares’ refrain.  Fantastic piece that I am surprised does not get more mention when discussing the better Rez Band material.  Lyrics warn against indifference to the poor and needy: 

Slumming ain't the answer to the cancer, poverty
That so many of the poor slipped into degree,
Jesus walked among them, pausing to refresh
Finally giving to the point of blood to share their emptiness,

Mark and Teresa, Godspeed to you,
Suffering in love when you don't have too,
And, God, have mercy on the rest of us too
‘cause when we shut out the poor, Lord, we're shutting out you

Stark, spare,
And tell me, who cares?

“Elevator Muzik” - all two minutes of it! - reflects the groups newfound punk elements.  It works in that the song is also every bit metal infused hard rock with its relentless front to back momentum and Glenn’s gritty voice driving the chaotic if not at times humorous setting: ‘elevating sales at the speed of sound- soon you’ll be shopping in sensuround’.  Plenty of offbeat sound effects - including a loud snore at the end - help round out one of the more outside the box tracks in Rez Band’s repertoire.

“Alienated”, another two-minute cut, ensues and takes a straightforward hard rock approach in comparison.  Barebones and mid-paced but not simplistic, the song maneuvers to gutsy guitars that impel in and out of the mix in combining equal parts raw power and lower register groove.  Similar to Colours track “Hidden”, it fulfills a quality deep cut role in the process.

Rez Band unveils its heavy rocking pop elements on second Wendi cut, “Can’t Get You Outta My Mind”.  The song proves up-tempo manifest with non-stop hooks and Jim Denton’s melodic bass setting the fast-and-furious front to back tone.  As the first of several cuts to back from the group’s traditional hard rock basis, I take a middle of the road approach: I do not love it, but nor do I hit the skip button; rather, it is another solid song that helps make a good album even better.

Glenn lends one of his finest emotional vocal performances on “the Chair”, which I rate a close second to “American Dream” as my all time favorite Rez Band song (for those wondering “Shadows”, “Where Roses Grow”, “Military Man”, and “No Alibi” are also strong contenders).

“The Chair” also ranks among Rez Band’s all time heaviest, with a powerful drum solo to begin followed by mammoth guitar walls for the impudent verses and calmer tinctures imbuing the contrastingly smoother (and quite melodic) refrain.  Halfway through a short acoustic guitar interlude gives way to the hard charging instrumental moments in which prodigious guitars again take over.

As its title implies, “The Chair” focuses on those with disabilities.  Glenn provides additional insight: “(“The Chair”) was inspired by two people we met on the road.  One guy had been in a plane crash, and one half of his face had been disfigured by the fire.  The other guy was in a wheelchair, and he had a disease that made him shake constantly.  These guys were both outstanding people (that were) beautiful Christians who loved the Lord”:

Disabled, confined, labeled and shelved,
"So sorry," they say, but they forget me,
Once a year they buy themselves that right.

We won't understanding, not pity,
We need love, not occasional headlines,
We've been used, abused, and aborted for years,
And I've learned not to expect respect for my tears.

Until you came to me, Lord, I had so little to live for,
Till you came to me, Lord, I had nowhere to turn,
Jesus, you alone have helped me to grow beyond my circumstance and despair,
My suffering can't compare to what you took willingly,
Sacrifice nowhere near what you gave on that tree,
I can see though I'm blind,
Loving one at a time, there is so much that I can do.

Lone MDLDA filler track closes out side one, “Can’t Do It On My Own”.  Despite 35 years of repeat play, I have failed to grow into its reserved classic rock influences despite Glenn’s solid lower register vocal performance.  It if comes across a bit flat, it might be from how musically (in my opinion) it is a step behind the albums ten other songs or at the very least it owes to the excellence of the track preceding it.

Side two begins to barnburner “First Degree Apathy”.  Rez Band, obviously, has never done speed metal, but “First Degree Apathy” comes closest as perhaps the groups fastest cut ever.  It literally flies its three minutes, with fleet riffing and a breakneck rhythm section driving things forward in creating a setting that has turbulent written all over it (lead guitarist Stu Heiss kills it on lead guitar).  Lyrics hit every bit hard as the music in dealing with apathy among Christians):

Might be lost, might be found, doesn't make a difference,
Sleepwalking, you're just jive talking, obviously indifferent,
What'd you care if the world's gonna burn with millions going to Hell?
You might be with them, or maybe you won't... but it' sure hard to tell.

It's easy to realise most of the world has closed its eyes,
Sometimes I cry for Christians to care at all,
It's clear Jesus cares; wasn't passive, that's sure,
In the comfort-seeking church we're all called to share the hurt.

Albums haunting title track ensues with its contrastingly laid back and mid-paced demeanor.  I like to think of it as classic rock with bluesy overtures, as delicate guitars and keyed up emotion carry its distance all the while Glenn shines with one of his more honest vocal performances, the type of which cannot help but make you say he belongs among the top hard rock vocalists of his generation.  Of course, it begins to the classic line, ‘mommy say’s she don’t love daddy anymore’ before going on to represent a treatise written from the standpoint of a kid whose family is breaking up from divorce:

When you're eight and your family's dying,
When you're hurt, but too scared to cry,
What on earth can you do to find release?
God, what is... what is happening to me?

Daddy shrugs and slowly turns away,
Mommy says, "God, why did it end this way?"
Can our family really die so fast?
Is love a thing... a thing that just won't last?

Me, I don't know who to believe,
Me, I don't know how to receive the love that used to be.

“The Crossing” ensues and represents quintessential blues inspired heavy rock.  Yes, Rez Band has been bluesy before MDLDA but not to the same extent and would not explore similar territory until its late eighties to early nineties “Silence Screams”, “Innocent Blood” and “Civil Rites” era.  The songs reserved and reticent feel finds the group at home, not touching upon hard rock but guitar relevant all the same in delivering a sound reminiscent to Glenn’s turn of the century band The Glenn Kaiser Band.  Of course, those already familiar with TGKB will recognize the depth to the artists soloing during the moody instrumental moments.

The newfound Rez Band punk/wave elements reveal themselves on “Little Children”.  Returning the album to up-tempo territory, the song is similar to its two predecessors in that guitars do not cross the threshold of hard rock but leave the impression of brusque and biting all the same.  Lending to the curtly done scene is Wendi, whose raspy delivery proves perfect for a subject dealing with the precarious position of children in our society:

In South East Asian refugee camp, to Haiti and beyond,
The suffering of these little ones screams of a world gone wrong,
The selfishness, greediness, and wars have crippled and killed them,
We can roll in the shame of our sinful gain, but we can't replace our children.

Abort me, abuse me, rape and use me to buy your way to happiness,
Swear and hit me, or just neglect me; it's only at a child's expense,
What does it matter? - You'll get what you're after,
But if I die before I wake, I'll be safe in the arms of my Saviour,
So much love for so much hate.

“Lovin’ You” closes the album in a similar pop vein as “Can’t Get You Outta My Mind”.  The song starts to a keyboard solo followed by guitars, with the infectious energy that bursts forth building upon the catchy melody at hand and Glenn’s joyful vocal performance.  Unlike previous Rez Band closing tracks which come across moody and introspective, “Lovin’ You” brightens the landscape in approaching the mirthful if not celebratory worshipful.

Of the groups earlier material – starting with Awaiting Your Reply and culminating with Between Heaven & Hell – I always felt that MDLDA features the strongest production: drum sound is spot on, rhythm guitars make a crisply defined statement and guitar leads cleanly stand out in the mix. The Retroactive re-issue improves upon an already good product with guitars even better defined and low-end making a further pronounced statement.

MDLDA is a good album in its own right despite not presenting with the consistent heaviness of predecessors Awaiting Your Reply, Rainbow’s End and Colours.  Therein also lies its brilliance in that the album proves Rez Band not to be a one trick hard rock pony in that it can branch out into styles as diverse as pop, blues-rock and punk wave.  That said, I also wish the group had included one or two more top of the line hard rockers in similar vein as “Stark/Spare”, “The Chair” and “First Degree Apathy”, particularly over the albums final half.  Still, MDLDA presents as another classic effort from a group still in its eighties prime form.  Hats off to Retroactive for making it available again after having gone out of print. 

Review by Andrew Rockwell

Track Listing: "Stark/Spare" (3:42), "Elevator Muzik" (1:57), "Alienated" (2:03), "Can't, Get You Outta My Mind" (2:54), "The Chair" (5:05), "Can't Do It On My Own" (2:51), "First Degree Apathy" (3:04), "Mommy Don’t Love Daddy Anymore" (4:23), "The Crossing" (3:46), "Little Children" (2:36), "Lovin' You" (3:29)

Musicians
Glenn Kaiser - Lead Vocals, Guitars & Keyboards
Wendi Kaiser - Lead Vocals
Stu Heiss - Guitars & Keyboards
Jim Denton - Bass & Synthesizers
John Herrin - Drums 

Reference List
“The Other Side Of Resurrection Band- An Interview.” Cornerstone 55 (1981): 40-43.

 

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