Lender are a groove oriented rock band, producing songs that will make you want to move a little while listening to the thoughtful lyrics and infectious grooves. The sound is rooted in the rhythm section, which not only holds everything down, but also provides color and shape to the songs, allowing the guitar, saxophone and vocals total freedom of expression. They take advantage of it in a wonderful way. Lender’s second release, Dad Rock For Moms, makes you feel good, like you have been transported to the beach; but not the clichéd tropical beach, always sunny and warm, and not because life is full of only big waves, bikinis, and cold beer. The beach Lender evokes is more like the northern California beaches near their home: sometimes sunny, often not, but always moody and somehow spiritual. The lyrics make you feel good not because they tell of always getting the girl, or of always knowing what you want and getting it, but because we can be happy in the mysteries and vagaries of life. In Not That Smooth, the band displays its cohesion over an exhilarating groove, while singing about not getting the girl due to losing his nerve, and being not that smooth Take Your Time rolls in like a sudden rain storm on our northern California beach, dark clouds appear from nowhere, obscure the light, but a mesmerizing calm comes with the rain, and then it is gone as suddenly as it appeared. I Don’t Mind envelops the listener with another intoxicating bass line while the other players serve the ethereal feel and message of the song. No Floor is complex and well composed, the guitar a perfect representation of the lyrics after he sings “there’s no floor” the band erupts in a dark descending jam which finally resolves back into bright riff which is the theme of the song.
In total the five songs on Dad Rock For Moms offer a glimpse of the abilities of this band to pair strong grooves and expert musicianship with intelligent lyrics that are not just for Moms.