Love Seed Mama Jump – S/T

Ah, Love Seed Mama Jump. Anyone who’s lived in Virginia, Maryland, or Delaware has probably been to a Love Seed Mama Jump show or at least seen fliers for the band in every record store and bar. This Delaware band has been together since 1991 and every summer performs a shore-tour of bars and clubs throughout that region, and it works for them. None of the six band members has had a full-time job since 1993, and they have a full-time road crew. All of that with four CDs that were self-released. But, seeking exposure outside of the east coast, the band has signed with a label that also promotes Kittie and Jay Farrar, and they’re gearing up to take their high-energy pop-rock on the road to the rest of the country.
Originally known for their covers of older rock songs, this self-titled release is sort of a culmination of what makes up Love Seed Mama Jump. There are songs here from their self-released albums and covers as well. The best description for Love Seed Mama Jump would be bar-rock or college-rock, but there’s no denying that these guys are tight and fun. Their covers have an energy and excitement that sometimes even the originals didn’t contain, and their original songs, while sounding like traditional radio-fare, are almost irresistible catchy. So despite the fact that these guys are, at heart, a bar-band like a million others, I’ve listened to this CD several dozen times already and enjoyed it every time.
As for as the original songs go, there’s no doubting the band can write a catchy tune. The high-powered “My Superstar” would be catchy without even the “All right! All right!” interludes, and “Flying Solo” shows off a more bluesy, Better Than Ezra-like rock style. They can get quieter and more mellow on songs like the alt-country-tinged “Being There,” and “Life” is a more gentle, slightly ballad-like number that’s quite well done. “Blink” perhaps shows off the band’s best sound. Slightly retro-sounding, with bouncy pop keyboards, the song has a very light, very catchy feel that brings to mind the Beach Boys yet rocks as well. “Supernaturally Sober” is probably a good drinking song, with plenty of acoustic guitar and a Barenaked Ladies feel.
Then we get their covers, like their sped-up, almost punk-rock version of John Denver’s “Country Roads” and the band gets a kind of Wilco-esque alt-country groove going on “Love Lies Here.” My favorite of the band’s covers is of Van Morrison’s “Domino.” This song is done quite well, faster and yet not giving up the catchy, fun approach.
It may not do anything for my indie-rock credibility to admit that I like this album, but I’ve seen Love Seed Mama Jump at a few bars in Northern Virginia, and there’s no denying that they’re energetic and talented. They put as much effort into their covers as their original songs and approach music the way it’s intended to be played: as if the band is having fun. That’s what makes this album catchy and fun, and while the band sounds traditional and unoriginal at times, it’s still a fun listen.