History is littered with bands who inexplicably never got a record deal. In the mid-to-late ‘70s as labels scrambled to sign punk bands – or what they thought were punk bands – it seemed obvious that the New York-by-way-of-Los Angeles band the Mumps would get a deal. Their singer, Lance Loud was one of the world’s first reality TV stars; they regularly played at the epicenter of punk and new Wave in the 1970s (CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City); and more importantly, the band could write cleaver, memorably quirky songs.
Despite releasing two singles, “I Like To Be Clean” and “Rock & Roll This, Rock & Roll That,” – two fantastic, odd ball pop numbers that alone should have justified an album deal – one never came and the band broke up. Over the years there have been bootlegs and two official compilations of the band’s music, but Omnivore recordings has just released a new collection including five tracks from those singles as well as nine songs recorded between 1974-1979, available on vinyl, CD and digitally. The CD and digital albums also include nine additional songs from the pre-Mumps band, Loud, which have never been formally released before.
The new song here, including those from the pre-Mumps era, are all pretty much in the same vein making for a satisfying collection for longtime fans of Loud’s music. While not every song here is as strong as “I Like To Be Clean” and “Rock & Roll This, Rock & Roll That,” there are several that come pretty close, like the piano-backed, Queen-esque “S.O.S” and the remarkably catchy “Dance Tunes For The Underdogs.”
With Rock & Roll This, Rock & Roll That, Best Case Scenario, You’ve Got Mumps the band finally gets the proper release they deserve.