There are so many different influences at play in Mo7s’ debut album, “Hate Mail from a Love Child,” that it’s hard to nail the Reading-based band down to a particular genre. There’s definite rock, blues and country there, but also some jazz (as heard with the trumpet solo on “Urgent”) and electronica (on an updated version of Van Morrison’s “Moondance”) that makes this band unpredictable.
That unpredictability is what is so enjoyable about “Hate Mail from a Love Child,” and is also the product of Mo7s experimenting with assistance from 19 different musicians throughout the course of the record.
One of those musicians, lead vocalist Amy Tomaszewski, came into the project to lend vocals to one song, but it’s easy to see why she stuck around as an official member. Her soulful delivery has punch on tracks like the album opener, “Why,” and is equally as reflective on the tender, bluegrass-infused “Sweet Young Kid.”
Instrumentally, the spirit of experimentation is strong. Mo7s founder Dave Lewis gives interesting, unexpected interpretations on covers like “Moondance” and ZZ Top’s “Cheap Sunglasses,” and fuses music styles constantly, as on “Sleepwalk,” with its sleepy, yet powerfully-delivered chords over doo-wop rhythms.
Because of Mo7s’ versatility on “Hate Mail from a Love Child,” they could go in any direction on a follow-up release. They’ve given themselves a lot to work with, and it should make for more exciting results down the line.