formed in boston and currently based in somerville, my own worst enemy (aka mowe) is a female-fronted trio that creates dynamic indie-garage-pop using two electric guitars and drums - no bass - alongside strong harmonies, rapid-fire rhythms and occasional harmonica and twang. inspired by the boston music scene and by the likes of sleater-kinney, patti smith and the replacements, songwriters sue and steve started playing, writing and making four-track recordings after meeting at the middle east in cambridge. the duo added drums to the mix and began gigging, playing their first show at o'brien's in allston in february 1998. the cassette-only demo tape called "cinnamon" followed later that year. the band kept writing new songs and released treblemaker, a collage of loose, energetic demos and late-night studio experimentation in 2000. with a drummer change the following year, mowe survived on a steady diet of writing new material and sporadically playing live, releasing the 13-song no guarantees in 2003, produced by pete weiss and released on elis eil records.
my own worst enemy's straight ahead, d.i.y. approach to passionate, heart-on-your-sleeve songwriting and high energy live shows continues to evolve and move the band in new directions. the addition of a.j. on drums in 2005 gave the band a huge boost and again spurred a major songwriting flourish. the recharged trio hit the clubs and ultimately returned to recording with pete weiss once again behind the board at verdant studio. in the fall of 2007, mowe released its third record, total action, on pristine indigo records. positive reviews, college radio airplay, better gigs and a stronger live following were the result of their efforts.
using the momentum from total action as a springboard, my own worst enemy takes it's game to the next level with its 2011 full-length, electric like the moon. the eleven song record follows the band's blueprint of recording live basic tracks in the woods of vermont, working quickly and efficiently to produce a loose and real-sounding document of a band not over-thinking the process. this record picks up where total action left off and delivers a solid, up-tempo collection of modern rock songs in a fashion that only sue, steve and aj can muster. highlights include the band's epic ode to billy ruane, called "man of the hour"; a major-chord garage-rawk tribute to monoman and felice called "the kids don't care" and covers as only mowe can perform, by the smiths, lady gaga and tribe.
in late 2013, mowe released a limited-edition 45 rpm single, paul revere/angel of the underground. recorded and produced entirely in their hometown of somerville, ma. (at q division and armory sound) by pete weiss (who else??) the band continues to churn out the hits.
if this isn't enough to hook you, they probably never will. come to a live show and get a copy or find an online outlet...you'll be glad you did.
sue - guitar & vocals
sue's humble musical beginnings trace back to the fifth grade when she would play the folk mass at her church. after moving to boston for college, and years of recovery from having attended catholic school, sue picked up the guitar again with less sacred intentions. over time, she moved from working out bob dylan and janis joplin tunes to writing songs of her own, playing for an audience of one kitty (named nico) in her little studio apartment. sue's muses range from patti smith to r.e.m., billie holiday to husker du, leading to songs that are rooted in feeling, not formula. as a longtime supporter of local bands on the boston scene, sue has drawn inspiration over the years from favs like jen trynin, scarce, dambuilders and kristin hersh. although it's unlikely her songs will ever be heard at church services again, their purity and veracity cannot be denied. working with bandmates steve and a.j. allows sue's songwriting and vocalization to continue evolving in new and ever-intriguing directions.
steve - guitar & vocals
steve's earliest music memories are sitting up in a favorite tree listening to simon & garfunkel and the beatles on a snoopy am radio. second to the pop tunes of the 70s was the raw, exciting world of punk & new wave in the early 80s; high school afternoons were a crash-course in new music, digging through friends' vinyl collections that included the vapors, marshall crenshaw, pretenders, the clash and elvis costello. inspired by the music's originality and coolness, steve bought a juno 106 synth and began composing original songs, eventually swapping the keys for a guitar and four-track. after gaining degrees in liberal arts and english literature at umass, steve moved to providence and then to boston where there were great local music scenes going, all the while writing tons of songs and listening to alot of replacements, big star, uncle tupelo, teenage fanclub and guided by voices. eventually fate intervened: steve met singer/songwriter sue at a dambuilders/fuzzy show in cambridge. they have been writing and playing together ever since.
josh - drums & backing vocals
bio coming soon
PRESS HIGHLIGHTS: [READ FULL]
...My Own Worst Enemy has managed a sort of sequel to Jonathan Richman's Roadrunner. Full of local landmarks and proto-punk fury, Paul Revere re-imagines the legendary ride as a quest for pizza, Chinese takeout and some ice-cold beer. The B-side to the new single is a simple, pretty acoustic ballad, Angel of the Underground, dedicated to Boston's busking queen Mary Lou Lord... (jed gottlieb, boston herald, dec '13)
On Electric Like The Moon..."My Own Worst Enemy has been around since the late 1990s but they retain an unjaded freshness that still sounds brand new ...I don't know what it is that producer Pete Weiss does that makes each project he takes his hand to shine like a gem, but I sure hope he continues doing it. A keeper." (the noise, nov '11)
"Bad romance, late nights out, the intersection of love and squalor...that's traditionally the stuff of great rock and roll, and it's the territory My Own Worst Enemy inhabits with [Electric Like The Moon], which makes good on the promise of their last few years of heartfelt live shows ... the songwriting is definitely the point here, as Sue and Steve's tunes and lyrics key into the joys and dramas of a life in bohemia...takes you back to the days when a night in clubland was a true adventure, and the bands didn't mind trying to change your life just a little ..." (brett milano)
"Total Action puts me in mind of all those great, underrated all-American garage-punk bands of the 1960s ... just listen to Come On or Turn It On and tell me that they couldn't pass muster on any of the Nuggets collections. Listen to Green Apple and tell me it isn't a local classic nearly on a par with Prettiest Girl. ... This may be one of the best albums of the year."(the noise)
"Total Action is the kind of pop record they just don't make anymore; full of fresh sounds and great hooks ... a lot of vital three-chord stomp ... Call it garage rock if you must; but Sue's vocals leave no doubt that garage is in a pretty exotic neighborhood." (brett milano, author, sound of our town)
"The camaraderie between Sue and Steve is obvious, and they play off each other well. The songs are spirited, and well written with sharp melody lines and biting lyrics..." (ffanzeen)
"...The songwriting is strong and earnest, the sound is remarkably full for a band without a bass player, and, overall, they make me want to dance...." (the noise)
"Best Boston debut in a long time--in many ways evokes the golden age of classic co-ed indie rock bands: Love Child, Yo La Tengo, Eric's Trip, etc--the boy sings a song, the girl sings the next one, and they always sing together. It's the pinnacle of rock band equality..." (kapital ink)
"My Own Worst Enemy is a Boston trio that loathes pretension. There's no wandering experimentation on these tracks, no demanding political views. Just raw, punk-fueled, high-energy rock with great hooks and excellent musicianship. It feels basic and solid, wild and fun. The perfect music to shake off life's complications to and just flat-out enjoy...Sue, who sings lead on most of these tracks, has a gritty Patti Smith edge to her voice...Not a single filler track on this CD. Very impressive work." (indie-music.com)
"'Poison' is without a doubt my favourite track on the album. The music has a dark, sinister atmosphere to it that works perfectly with Sue's smoky, hazy voice delivering the disturbing lyrics. You have to listen to this song!...No Guarantees has a little something for everyone, and the use of two main vocalists is effective in creating an appealing male/female dynamic. This album is poignant, passionate and powerful." (rock pulse.co.uk)
"Too often, between a first demo, a first EP, and a first full-length release, some intangible quality which helps to make a band great gets lost or misplaced in the mix. This happened to the Throwing Muses and the Pixies. My Own Worst Enemy, on the other hand, has made the same transition with grace and aplomb...belongs on every college radio station playlist in the Western world." (the noise)
"What a set of pipes! [Sue's] voice is powerful, emotive and intense...She's got incredible power and presence, best showcased on the dark and thrilling 'Poison.' Another showcase is 'Late Show.' With its simple musical arrangement, it highlights her voice, showing off its depth." (southofmainstream.com)
"The jangly and harsh 'Cry For Frances' deserves to be singled out - it's a classic right up there with 'The Boy With Perpetual Nervousness' by The Feelies, or 'Hate My Way' by Throwing Muses...We've listened to it a couple dozen times, and each go-round reveals new chunks of vituperation, presumably directed against Courtney Love...Equally wonderful is 'Paint the Town' - the faux naif primitivism of Beat Happening meets the earnest lyricism of Jules Shear circa 'Shadows Break'..." (the noise)
need we say more? read the full reviews on the press archive page.