Monday, December 3, 2012

Pretty Mouth: Men of the Tie, Men of the Cloth, Men of the Lie

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a member of the Canadian band Pretty Mouth ("Four dudes who want to fucking kill you and everyone you know"), who asked if I was interested in reviewing their new release Men of the Tie, Men of the Cloth, Men of the Lie. I'd never heard of the band, and am pretty ignorant of most things that aren't Swedish or death metal; but I figured sure, why not. While this might set a terrible precedent for lots of bands to send me free stuff to review, as a dedicated metal blogger and underemployed scrub, I'll have to take that chance.

Coming from the land of Nomeansno and Voivod, I guess it's to be expected that Pretty Mouth (great Deliverance inspired name, BTW) would throw out the rule book and go their own way. Standard terms like "crusty hardcore" or "power violence" don't do them justice. I can't remember the last time I heard hardcore that sounded this dangerous and unpredictable. Nails? Coalesce? "Damaged 1?"

Noise isn't just a tool for Pretty Mouth; it's their raison d'être. At times it seems like the band is on the verge of imploding amidst all the screaming, feedback and blastbeats; this is what crazy people hear in their heads before movie theatre shooting sprees. Three songs explore their title theme ("Men of the Tie", "Men of the Cloth", and "Men of the Lie"), spewing bile and fury at big business and organized religion. It all gels together on "Men of the Lie", which swings like Botch without all that pesky math getting in the way of the carnage. Elsewhere, on the song "Tabula Rasa," when vocalist Lance Marwood snarls "We are satan's cunt, just a mercy fuck...We are the fallen/We are the forgotten," 90% of modern black metal is made to sound like empty posturing.

But at barely 5 minutes (minus intro, outro, and a noise interlude titled "Choose Hate" that samples Hell on Wheels), it's over way sooner than it should be. Clearly Pretty Mouth are a band with a unique take on hardcore; I would have liked to have heard where else their fury takes them. I can't imagine them being this merciful in the live setting. Maybe they had a movie screening to rush off to.

Men of the Tie, Men of the Cloth, Men of the Lie is available through Pretty Mouth's Bandcamp page.
Find Pretty Mouth on Facebook.

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