The Vandy Cabaret Room buzzed with hushed conversation as a Doc Marten clad crowd waited anxiously to hear Sorry Mom perform. The group—made up of lead singer and guitarist Juno, bassist Kari, and drummer Taryn—describes themselves as a “femme queer punk band” and is based in and around New England. The band released their first EP Juno Goes to the Big House in 2021 with a sound indicative of the punk bands and Riot Grrrl groups of the nineties, updated for a modern audience. If you’re wondering what that sounds like, they compare their sound to bands Sleater Kinney and Bikini Kill.
Boston College’s student radio station, WZBC, hosted Monday night’s concert, the first of its kind since the pandemic. When asked about the decision to bring Sorry Mom to BC, WZBC general manager Lily Telegdy said, “[Sorry Mom] definitely are not a sound you’d hear on BC’s campus.” Their curse-laden, head-banging, punk-rock sound stands in juxtaposition to the highly buttoned up and proper picture of BC. However, the size of the crowd at their show proved that Sorry Mom drew out the punk-lovers among the BC student body.
No decent rock concert starts on time, and Sorry Mom was no exception. When the band came onto the stripped down “stage” of the Cab Room, Juno made a joke about their shirt (which was a parody of the Les Miserables cover with a minion from Despicable Me), and the show was off. Their first song was “Molly Sells Molly by the Seashore,” a drum-heavy, rhythmic opener to their set. Around the chorus, the audience started bouncing their heads to the beat of the song.
The opening song seamlessly transitioned into “awesome party, dude!,” keeping the energy up. Kari and Taryn briefly stepped back to allow Juno to perform “Enema,” a short, slow song featuring only vocals and guitar, followed by “Town Clown.” These two songs served as a nice palette cleanser for the rest of what was an explosively energetic show. The concert was surprisingly intimate for a punk show. The performers regularly interacted with the audience, and even encouraged us to come closer to the stage.
By the time the band played “Officer, That’s Not Mine!” the audience was really starting to engage with the show, and when “I F–d Yr Mom” played, it was a full blown mosh pit. People jumped on each other’s toes and screamed the lyrics until their lungs blew out. “I F–d Yr Mom” is Sorry Mom’s most popular song for a reason. Featuring a catchy guitar riff that will get stuck in your head, the song is about rejecting traditional societal norms and embracing oneself. They sing, “I bet you were in bed/And she was in mine/Yeah, I f–d your mom.” All in all, this song is an anthem in support of the unabashed expression of female sexuality.
Next up was the band’s cover of “Blister in the Sun,” a heavy punk take on the Violent Femmes’ classic. They then delved into their new song “Getting Sick,” a more laid-back and ethereal song. Sorry Mom rounded out their set with a few more songs, including “2006” and “Hit the Back” (originally recorded by King Princess), and closing with “Stoop Kid.” One song after another, the band sang about rejecting norms—from heteronormativity to traditional gender stereotypes—and embracing every part of yourself. Sorry Mom encourages their listeners not to stress about what people will think of them, and not to accept the subpar treatment they may receive. In this way, their concert is somewhat of a femme punk-rock therapy session.
Although the concert only ran for a little over an hour, the audience walked into the cold night with ringing in their ears. Any fan of punk music would love seeing Sorry Mom live, and for anyone who’s not already a punk fan—get ready to get out of your comfort zone. Seeing a show like Sorry Mom means letting go of conventional norms of expression and decorum, and embracing counterculture. Be prepared to scream at the top of your lungs, cast out your inner demons, lose a part of yourself, and just maybe find a new one.