Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pretty Mouth: Fears

In good news for enthusiasts of feedback and chaotic hardcore, Pretty Mouth are back with their new release Fears, to have their way with traditional song structures the way a couple of hillbillies did with a quivering Ned Beatty. With two songs from their previous cassette release ("Apotheosis" and "The Joke"), Fears is very much in line with the Pretty Mouth oeuvre up to this point.

The band have refined their attack since I first encountered them on Men of the Tie, Men of the Cloth, Men of the Lie. Though "refined" may not be the best way to describe this evolution; their love of noise is still very much on display, but used in more deliberate and jarring ways. On songs like "Bridges" and "Demons", Fears swings like an ether huffer on a skiff, hinting at a newfound affection for groove. I can't help but think of Greg Ginn, and what he would have done if he had grown up on hardcore instead of inventing it. The result would have sounded an awful lot like Pretty Mouth.

Near the end of the release comes "Nights", a spoken word piece about black magic in India, offering the listener a brief respite without relieving the tension. It's strange to hear a band as politically and socially conscious as Pretty Mouth build a whole track around witchcraft; but as singer Lance Marwood says, "everyone's on that upside down cross dick these days."

With few exceptions, the tracks on Fears zip past in under two minutes. My one complaint about Pretty Mouth in the past was that their releases weren't longer, but I've since changed that opinion. After 10 minutes of my earbuds feeding this into my brain while I walked around town, I was crazed and bug-eyed, scaring tourists and locals alike. God knows what another 20 minutes would have done.

Pretty Mouth are back. Best to keep all sharp objects locked away.

Pretty Mouth - ghosts from YOSH Photography on Vimeo.

Fears is released on 30 October 2013.

Pre-orders are available through Pretty Mouth's Big Cartel and Bandcamp pages.

Find Pretty Mouth on Facebook.