Saturday, January 29, 2011

Old Stuff

Alright, I'm posting this as more of a record for myself but for those who care about reading through, allow me to explain. This is every online review or article (or at least every one that I know about) that Moutheater has gotten since the beginning of the band up through late 2009. The reason that it stops at the end of 2009 is because after that point I just started posting everything in this blog. Before that I was posting everything on our myspace. Since myspace is not something that I feel like keeping up with anymore, I've taken all of the reviews and articles that were posted there and have placed them in this entry. It's a lot of information but I did my best to separate everything so that it was at least somewhat easy to navigate. The titles of my myspace blog entries are what I used to separate each entry. All pictures and links that were in the original articles are not here. This is text only. There are also some notes from me from time to time, those were also in the original myspace blog entries. Essentially all I've done is copy and paste everything from there to here, so titles and notes that I'd written there are also here as well but pictures and links did not show up. Sorry if there's any confusion.

I'm going to get all of our printed reviews and articles (or again, at least the one's that I know about and have in my posession) scanned and post them in another entry similar to this one at some point. If you know of any others that I don't have (both printed and online), then please send them my way.

These are in order based on when I discovered them. Somewhat chronological with the most recent one being the closest to the top and the oldest one being closest to the bottom of the entry.

Moutheater review at

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 at 2:30pm by Gary Suarez

I miss grunge, and if you read my posts with any regularity that should come as no surprise. Now far too many people dismiss the dormant genre for its commercial successes, or even because of a reviled legacy that yielded such aural abominations as Puddle Of Mudd and Staind. Yet the Pacific Northwest in the late 80s and early-mid 90s had so many exciting and delightfully disgusting artists that made truly grungy music while never selling out stadiums, artists like Green River and Tad. I would argue that we need to factor in the descendants of these artists before passing any final sweeping negative judgment of the so-called Seattle sound. Thankfully, the orallly-fixated Food and Moutheater help to counter the Seattle sound’s unwarranted bad rep.

Food’s stellar self-titled, vinyl-only debut on the Molsook imprint makes several nods to the good old days of grunge, yet would also be quite at home next to Bison B.C. and even classic Melvins. The riffs are deep and grimy with ever-present support from a potent rhythm section. Frontman Johnny Fink screeches as much as he screams his lyrics on powerful uptempo cuts like “Cascadia” and “March Fourth,” though the band really hits its stride on the ten minute low-n-slow sludgefest “Love.”. Here, the bass rumbles and roars over the spare-sounding drum kit, while Fink plays dissonant guitar, sometimes stepping out of the mix completely to let Jeff Grant and Ryan McLennan show off. One of the best releases I’ve heard this year, this five-song LP is a mean motherfucker that will please fans of Mastodon and Mudhoney alike.

Where Food counts grunge among its influences, Moutheater pretty much embodies grunge. In fact, Ornament, the band’s latest, could easily have come out on Sub Pop in 1992. (Then again, the band’s previously 7″ was produced by Steve Albini, who you should already know was behind the board for Tad’s Salt Lick.) Drenched in feedback and teeming with vitriol, tracks like “Inept” and “Obsolete Rhythm” don’t try to reinvent the wheel, making for some sinister sentimental listening. “Guts” is a jump-up-and-riot banger with howled verses and wailed choruses, while slow n’ sleazy “The Big Breath Before The Deep Plunge” possesses a categorically uncomely bassline that wouldn’t have been out of place on Nirvana’s Bleach. I could do without the disruptive, unremarkable noise tracks like “Honesty” and “Negative Life”, but barring this Ornament doesn’t disappoint.

Food, “s/t”
(4 out of 5 horns)

Moutheater, “Ornament”
(3 1/2 out of 5 horns)

Moutheater and Debris Amour reviewed on Colors Of The Dark

Reviewed by J. Canady of Deathpile and Angel Of Decay. Very exciting!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009
Moutheater / Debris Amour

(Shirt design by Ben Sears)

Andrew Aircraft from the bands Moutheater and Debris Amour was kind enough to send me a couple of CDs. He also allowed me to host one MP3 from each release. I enjoyed these discs but sadly, I don't have time to go into a serious critique. My little blurbs below even took me a lot longer to get down than I'd like to admit.

First up, Moutheater's "Ornament." To put it simply, this is some dark, heavy, pissed but not one dimensional ROCK bordering on metalcore. When I say ROCK, I am thinking something in the vein of Melvins and Jesus Lizard but, Moutheater sounds like neither band. They also had the balls to throw in some atonal experimental and noise to mix it up. There's a lot going on here and it's all done with a nice rich production.

You can download an MP3 for the song "Obsolete Rhythm" here.

You can also check out more Moutheater on their MySpace page and pick up their album over at Thrashed Records.

Andrew's solo experimental project is Debris Amour and this disc is called "Notations in Negativity." The sound ranges from totally crushing power electronics to nearly ambient pieces. I won't even try to describe this any further except to say it's a very ambitious combination of experimental styles. This release is limited to only 40 copies so don't wait to get it if you are interested.

You can download the download an MP3 for the song "Hate Letter/Love Letter" here.

Here's a link to the Debris Amour MySpace page and "Notations in Negativity" is available from Swim Harder Cassettes.

Review of "Flawless Embrace" at New Noise Zine

by newnoisezine

A new track from Virginia’s punk/metal act MOUTHEATER was posted just recently. I came across this band almost a year ago when they posted some new songs for their record “Ornament” that came out on Thrashed records and I was really impressed, I was really into their sound and what they were going for. Not many bands do what they do and I think they have a lot of creativity with their songwriting, they seem like they are not afraid to go outside the box, which I like a lot.
This new song, “Flawless Embrace” is no exception. Moutheater keepa bringing their own unique sound clashing post-punk and metal with influence from bands such as The Melvins, Cursed, Nirvana, and the Jesus Lizard. The vocals have a bit of a cursed vibe going on, but a little more calm, and the guitar work is very technical, using a lot of weird power chords, bringing out a lot of low end but there are also parts that sound like the guitar player is working the fretboard.
I was not expecting to come across a new song from this band, and I had no idea they were working on new stuff but im glad that they are. Im curious to see what release this will be on, looking forward to getting my hands on a copy when it is out.
Check out their other releases here.
I will be doing a review for “Ornament” as soon as I get my hands on a copy of the cd, but in the meantime I suggest you go and pick that up its a great record!

Ornament review at Sea Of Tranquility

Moutheater: Ornament

Virginia's MOUTHEATER take their influences from the late 80's early 90's grunge and metal explosion sighting NIRVANA, THE JESUS LIZARD AND NEUROSIS as focus points. With their debut single recorded by legendary man STEVE ALBINI things look promising for them from the offset. The three piece pound your head with a jack hammer rhythm not unlike a very angry MOTORHEAD, imagine telling Lemmy that he can't smoke or drink for a week and this is the sort of vocal you get from MOUTHEATER. 'Swallowed Whole ' soon pumps you up for the MEGADETH riff of 'The Big Breath Before The Deep Plunge' a bass heavy anger strewn little ditty about being pissed off with the human race. From there on in we get happy flower filled titles like 'Negative Life, Inept, and Negative Death', performed with varying degrees of anger. MOUTHEATER have come to crush your skull and leave you feeling battered and bruised, a good start from these Virginian noise mongers.

Review of the Doomriders/Acid Tiger/Moutheater show at Brooklyn Vegan

Doomriders & Acid Tiger played Union Pool
words and photos by Black Bubblegum
DOWNLOAD: Moutheater - "Swallowed Whole" (MP3)
While I managed to catch most of the "North America is Doomed" show on 8/9, I did scoot over to Union Pool just in time for the mighty Doomriders and Converge-related breathren/new Deathwish signees Acid Tiger. That means that I missed Moutheater (mems-Jesuit) as well as I Hate Our Freedom (mems-Pilot To Gunner, Milhouse).
Fortunately, I was able to catch up with the Moutheater guys prior to Acid Tiger, picking up a copy of their newest LP, Ornament. This noise-crust-core band's long-player sits comfortably in a groove between the Albini-produced greats of yore (Jesus Lizard, Neurosis, Shellac, et al) and in fact, Mr Albini lent his considerable weight to the band's debut 7", Lot Lizard. That LP is out now via Thrashed Records, and you can grab a hold of an MP3 from it above!
Acid Tiger is cut from a similar cloth as Doomriders. Featuring Ben Koller of Converge on drums, the band's vaguely hardcore, vaguely sludge, vaguely punk chug carries less of the party vibe that ran through the center of Black Thunder, but a good portion of the power. Besides the catchy riffs, J Rattlesnake is a riveting frontman and Acid Tiger has the energy to make their debut worth a listen.
New Doomriders material seemed to be the focus of the show on Sunday, and from the sound of it, their upcoming LP Darkness Comes Alive will be less "the soundtrack to chugging beers" and more "the soundtrack to smashing a bottle over another man's head". Great set as usual from this foursome, who closed with "Black Thunder" which ignited a mosh pit (in Union Pool!) but... GUYS! Whats up with being more amazing on Sunday than you were at Europa? Gr.
Converge will join Mastodon, High On Fire, and Dethklok at Hammerstein Ballroom on 10/30. The band's new LP, Axe To Fall, is due via Epitaph on 10/20.

Moutheater on the Halifax Collect site

We are on the Halifax Collect site. Here's what they had to say (*also just for the record, the "hey"s that he's reffering to in the song "Guts" are actually "hate" in the first chorus and "high" in the second chorus*):

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


MOUTHEATER's star has risen fast and continues to do so because Ornament is already in the running as one of 09's best full lengths.

The question I asked myself after many dedicated listens to their two previous seven inch releases - who by the way, got me by the balls (read the review here and here)- was: can these guys write a proper full length? And the answer is yes. They bloody can. The progression MOUTHEATER shows on Ornament is by all means natural. They do not blow the lid off their founding material and leave the listener feeling like an outsider stranded in the wrong party with annoying people. Instead they build on the foundation cemented with their early releases and pull the music into new but subtle areas that are by no means forced, but yet refreshing. So, by not forsaking what hooked me so hard when getting into the band they also manage to show me a couple of new and exiting things. And that is a clever move. It feels loyal yet hungry.

MOUTHEATER are still slowish and mid tempo but never ever boring because the riffs have too many hooks, the drums boom and crash too hard and the bass will rumble in your rib cage. All this is helped by the punchy, open and airy production of one of the band members. Namely, Tim. Well done! And then there's the singing. Never forced but always biting and grim, in a shouty and audible way. The accents are great and the fluctuation is surprising - adding even more flavor to the over-all experience, as if the quality of the music wasn't enough. I'm hard pressed not to mention the semi David Yow homage in 'Paths'. Such a good move considering from which sub-culture MOUTHEATER originates in. It just gives yet another sharp edge that cuts through much of the garbage people color awesome these days.
And no one should have prolonged "hey's" in their songs. It's a recipe for horribleness. But these guys go there and pull it off with an infectious triumph. This happens on a raging track called 'Guts'. The grim sounding verse leads into the hey-driven chorus that works so well in all it's headbanging motorcycle laden glory. Jesus. It's too cool.
I was going to mention outstanding tracks but there's no use. All of them fucking rule. It's all here, groovy and super tight and focused drumming ala Jesus Lizard and Shellac. The riffs are simple, mature and instantly memorable, be it power chords, single stringers or some evil chords. And then there's the element of cool. Ornament is so fucking cool. You can rock it at a party with your friends and people will break out their air guitars and grind their teeth. It's a given. At the same time it is also perfect for bitter loners such as myself, locked in in their little flats thinking that nobody is wise to MOUTHEATER and that they are theirs to keep.
Much has been said about the grunge influence in the band's sound. I can get behind those statements but I'd like to add that we are talking the heavy and dirty grunge bands of old. There's no Screaming Tree's or Pearl Jam to be found here. And damn it if I don't hear Fudge Tunnel in the mix. And they are better for it.
It's a wonderful thing. I mean, how many bands have the ability to plow through brick walls yet bedazzle that pesky know-it-all art student in "ironic" and uncomfortable shoes, who pretends to know anything Sub Pop, Touch & Go, STT related?

Ornament is a heavy, considerably bold, exciting and stimulating collection of hard hitters that stands out in today's climate of metal, punk and hardcore that too much of the time seems to seek influence in all the wrong places and add to it the worst ingredients and inadequate personal twists.
By far the best underground power trio going today and Ornament is an essential item on your to-buy listen.
All this rambling aside, the fact remains; MOUTHEATER has proven themselves to be a real band. Musical and mature at that. Real musicians can write a commanding and self-assured full lengths. Welcome to the big league, boys!

Ornament review in The Metal Observer

*Disclaimer* Before you read this review I need to clear up a few things. We are NOT southern metal, Ornament was NOT recorded with Albini, and when he's referring to the song "Negative Death" he means to be referring to the song "Paths". "Negative Death" is an ambient track at the end of the record. "Paths" is the song before it.

Moutheater - Ornament (7,5/10) - USA - 2009

Genre: Stoner Rock / Garage Rock
Label: Thrashed Records
Playing time: 34:30
Band homepage: Moutheater

Swallowed Whole
The Big Breath Before The Deep Plunge
The Center Of The Universe
Negative Life
Obsolete Rhythm
Negative Death

My “handlers” here at TMO have described MOUTHEATER as Southern Metal – which is not exactly my forte – but I decided to give it a shot anyway, if for no reason other than the fact that my interest was piqued this Virginia-based outfit’s decidedly dumbass band name. That and the fact that advance word on the album seemed quite positive.

Based on the Southern Metal tag I had these guys pegged as some sort of mix between NASHVILLE PUSSY and, well, ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY, with perhaps a little Stoner-Prog a la LITMUS thrown in the mix. I do love the fact that I just used the word pussy twice in one sentence... Ehr, back to the actual music, which, it turns out, is quite different from what I had originally expected. Yes, “Ornament” ticks quite a few of the requisite Southern/Stoner Metal boxes (heavy downtuned riffage, straightforward beats and a generally whiskey-fuelled vibe of sonic debauchery) but at its core this album is more in line with early Seattle Grunge than anything else. Not the more melodically-inclined Grunge of ALICE IN CHAINS or SOUNDGARDEN mind you – this is more along the lines of “Bleach”-era NIRVANA or “Superfuzz Bigmuff”-era MUDHONEY. Rough, fuzzy and goddamned ugly, in other words! The focus seems to be more on an overall wall of sound rather than song-to-song intricacies, and in this way their music is also similar to a band like NEUROSIS. A scraggy bulldozer of hostile soundscapes.

As such it is hard to pick out individual tracks, but I’d have to say that ones like “Guts”, “Swallowed Whole” and the dreary closer “Negative Death” are among the more instantly impressive ones. The former is especially potent, being more straightforward and even a little Punk-y than the rest, with a heavy galloping tempo that recalls MASTODON to some extent. Oh, and on a side-note I have to mention that “Negative Death” would make an excellent band name (if it isn’t already).

The fact that the renowned Steve Albini twiddled the knobs on this thing should also give you a good indication of the sound MOUTHEATER were after on “Ornament”. A scraggy bulldozer of hostile soundscapes. I wouldn’t have minded a few more standout songs but as far as these kinds of bands go this is not too bad. The sludgier sections tend to drag (as is mostly the case) but the faster moments have real bite to them, and the Albini production highlights every steamrolling riff very nicely. “Ornament” is not exactly album of the year fare as far as my tastes go, but it will suffice just fine when I’m in the mood for blunt heaviness with attitude, kinda like a buffalo on weed.


Another review of Ornament

Following in the Virginia metal workhorse tradition of Gwar, Municipal Waste, and Pig Destroyer comes Moutheater, a band rooted in ‘90s grunge tradition via the Melvins and Jesus Lizard, yet falling in the line with the minimalist approach of heavy up-and-comers Tombs. The one quality that helps the band standout above the white noise of their peers comes from the vocals of Andrew Aircraft (and what a name). With enough roar power to require a new set of drawers, “Guts” is a short and sweet statement of raw power. The band’s first 7” was recorded by the king of heavy, Steve Albini, and their new album Ornament is due out June 30th on Thrashed Records.

Ornament review

‘Ornament’ (Thrashed Records)
RATING: 7/10


In music, every style comes and goes. From punk to thrash metal to alternative and classic metal, all of these genres are either making--or on the verge of making--a comeback. As I write this, it wouldn't even surprise me if nu-metal made a successful return. One style that currently seems obsolete is grunge. Even though we still hear Nirvana and Alice In Chains on a daily basis, there are no new bands emerging, and the trends and lifestyle that went along with grunge are long gone. Maybe Virginia Beach's Moutheater is here to change that.

The only thing I've recently heard to compare Moutheater's Ornaments to is a band called Sirhan Sirhan. Both bands play a distorted, fuzzy-garage style of grunge rock, mixed with punk and even metal. And Moutheater seems more than happy to carry on the grunge torch and wear their flannel with pride, claiming “they were sent here from a time capsule from 1989 Seattle.”

But this isn't radio-friendly grunge; this is more of what was coming out of the underground before Pearl Jam and Nirvana became mega-stars. The band sights Neurosis, Nirvana, The Melvins, Tad and His Hero Is Gone as influences, and their combination of guitar distortion, raw, crusty punk rock and grunge embody all of those bands. You could make case for “The Big Before the Deep Plunge” sounding like a lost track from Nirvana's Bleach. The vocals are raw and aggressive, leaning on more of a hardcore/metal side. This is nothing new or groundbreaking, but it's also more than a retread. It's a heavy grunge-rock effort and I can appreciate it for what it is. Others songs worth mentioning include “Swallowed Whole,” “The Center of the Universe” and “Guts.”

New review of Lot Lizard from Halifax Collect

MOUTHEATHER - Lot Lizard, 7"

Lot Lizard

I've marveled MOUTHEATER before in these pages and some sweet words and claims were dropped with their music in mind. Let it be known; I'm all over this band. This is their first seven inch on Thrashed! records, so it preceded the split with VVEGAS. The only thing left to do is to tell you how much this rules.

The title track "Lot Lizard" starts this affair with a bang. It is un-fuck-withable in it's swagger. The intro grabs you. Its hard hitting self assurance will instantly win you over. The verse rounds them up and the chorus knock everybody down only to drag you on to their feet for a groove that forces the headbanger to come out. The end-part that leads you out of the song has a curiously evil vibe to it.
The lyrics bring to mind Shellac, both in its subject and also its simplicity and repetition. Nice.

Lets get some Jesus Lizard talk out of the way. Much has been said about the Chicago quartet's influence on MOUTHEATER but few reviewer have articulated that opinion. Someone mentioned the name of this release and the art work. Fair enough. But not enough writers mention this, but Andrew's vocal approach is often similar to David Yow's. Not so much the sound of his voice but his accent breathing. It is somthing to get your ears around and fucking cool, might I add. Nobody braves this in modern hc/punk these days. Most people settle for less.
Throughout this release you will hear echos of Jesus Lizard, added in, in all the right moments and this is easily detectable in have the bass and guitar play off each other. I'd say there much more Lizard in these recordings than on the VVEGAS split.
The musically most Lizard'ish moment comes in the verse in "Lick The Stamp, Turn It On", the second track on side-A. It the chorus and final part reminds me of Scandinavian beat heavy noise rock acts like HAM, Drep and Brussel Kaupalinen.
You can't help to gnaw your teeth to their words: I can't watch all these pigs take it and break it and make it their own. You are the drudge of the earth, you are the hunter of names. I can relate to that. Even more so with the factory like pummeling of the beats and crushing riffs.

"History" is the only track on the b-side; almost as long as the first two tracks combined. I feel as if this number is more rocky and less grungy than the other two. Speaking of rocky, I kinda regret calling their second track on the VVEGAS split rocky. I take that back. Anyway!
This song has the most exhausting urgency to it. Like being in a car that is gonna hit a brick wall. It has a lot of drive to it. My least favorite song on here but still good as shit. That is saying much.

In concluding this ass-kiss of a review I wanna get in on all the grunge talk surrounding this band. We need to be careful in all such talk 'cause what grunge means to most people are the big radio friendly moments that sprung from said "movement". Like the later day Soundgarden, Screaming Trees and of course Pearl Jam, to name but few. All good bands in their own right but MOUTHEATER represents the harsher and dirtier side of that era, early Sub Pop, Deep Six compilation and Bleach/In Utero era Nirvana... Just wanted to put that out there.

MOUTHEATER deserves much more talk than they are getting but I think that will change soon, judging by the new track on their myspace. Not that they didn't have their own thing going already but that new track oozes with character. These gues are onto something. They are making something that is their own. Tell your friends 'cause you are gonna get bulldozed over, soon.

Blurb about the new record @ Dead Horse Zine
New Moutheater track up

New Moutheater track up

Virginia's Moutheater posted a new track entitled Guts. The song comes from the band's new LP, Ornament, due out this Spring. There are no words to describe how excited I am for this.

Moutheater is one of the top 10 band's currently creating music.

Halifax Collect review of the Vegas/Moutheater split



If you can't appreciate this split, odds are you aren't into hard music.

I know it's a big statement, being it features two songs bys two bands that have little in common other than the standard combination of instrument, distorted sounds and heavy beats but damn it, I was sold on first listen and that rarely does happen. Let me try to explain why.
The first VEGAS track starts with acoustic guitars I thought would only serve as an interlude but they form the core of an eerie and dark sounding instrumental track that sucked me in and haunted me from the get go. I was especially impressed with how well thought out this track is. Sure enough, tons of heavy bands try to do something like this but the results are usually somewhat awkward and far from being scary. This track also features electronic sounds "in the back" that really make it what it is. Nice. Totally unexpected.
Then they rip into a heavily metallic bulldozer of a track that brought to mind Integrity and early 100 Demons (without the beatdowns). Why Integrity? Because of the simplicity and tempo of the song and dive bomb solos during its main riffs. Normally I'm not too keen on this style being taken on by other bands than Integrity. Hell Integrity haven't written this good of a song in years. It's nasty. The vocals are fucked up and mean and give it a unique and evil edge. What's 100 Demons about it? The riff-catchy part with fever snare hits - yeah the one that makes you wanna bang your head into nails. That one.
The overall sound is dirty and alienating. Somebody told me their other stuff has a more crusty edge to it. I can't wait to hear more.
Utterly impressed I found myself wondering if VEGAS are amble to write a whole record in this vain without losing my attention. Can't wait to find out.

MOUTHEATHER is a totally different beast but a one that I'm more familiar with, sonically. Keep in mind I only recently found out about this band and this is the first release to my name.
The first track is instantly catchy. That dissonant guitar riff and the cold as hell bass that accompanies it, nailed me. I knew I would love this. Then it breaks into a Unsane / Dazzling Killmen sledge hammer and the whole thing sounds like a sonic head crusher that could have come out in the 90's via Wreckage/Exit and Amphetamine Reptile records. I kid you not.
This vibe, this cold and uninviting mood (contradictory to MOUTHEATER's catchy song writing) is much needed in today's padded down musical climate. The bands steamroller of a second song is just like the opening track; uninviting, yet compelling and endearing, dark and noisy yet oozing with maturity at the same time. But here there is a different tempo and a slightly rockier riff going on.
In all honesty, the first track was catchy enough to leave me humming it's riffs as soon as their side was over, so I instantly played the whole thing again.

Get this release now.

p.s. Story has it that this release is out of press and therefore hard to get. I know for a fact that still have some copies.

Dead Horse Zine review of the Vegas/Moutheater split

by Vegas & Moutheater
Thrashed! Records

This fall saw the release of one of my more anticipated releases of 2008 - a split 7" between Germany's Vegas and Virginia's Moutheater. Both holy terror acts offer up two new tracks a piece, in sheer chaotic, driving fashion. I've never known much about Vegas, other than their vocalist's involvement with Roses Never Fade, and I've always been hard pressed to find much else. Becoming the Night is a stark, brooding track with ambient qualities of RNF; whereas MMVIII is a clevo-hardcore throwback, with all the apocalyptic chaos and guitar leads in tow. Moutheater's side of the split starts off with the bass-heavy Misperceptions and leads into the downtrodden Ulcer. Everything I love about this band is showcased in two, head jerking, flawless punk and grunge infused jams. Heavy, warm tones mixed with musical elements of the Jesus Lizard, the Melvins, and early grunge. This piece of vinyl is great contrast not only between the bands themselves, but shows the diversity of both as well. This is modern hardcore & punk done right.


Coincidentally, after remarking in my write-up of the Vegas/Moutheater split 7" a couple of weeks ago that I'd really like to hear more from Moutheater, I got an email from Thrashed! Records letting me know that they had actually already sent me a copy of "Lot Lizard". Released in late-2007, I believe this was the band's debut EP - recorded by Steve Albini, appropriately enough - and as anticipated these three tracks offer up the same high-quality dose of lightly noisy AmRep-ish influence. Think plodding basslines, angular riffing, some slick post-hardcore dissonance, perfectly harsh vocals, and that expertly warm, natural tonality you'd expect from Albini's handiwork. While slightly less "heavy" (and that's not a derogatory remark here) than the tracks from the split with Vegas, I'd say these three tunes offer a smidge more variety in terms of unexpectedly energetic bursts and tempo changes, but the overall aesthetic is definitely right in line with what I've now come to expect from the band. At this rate, the full-length they're slated to start recording at the end of the year should indeed yield some damn solid results. Good stuff…


This long-awaited split 7" between Vegas and Moutheater comes courtesy of Thrashed! Records, offering up two tracks per band for a mere 11 minutes of surprisingly diverse excursions. I believe this is the first new material from Vegas in almost four years, and "Becoming the Night" kicks things off with a dark, relaxed twist that's actually quite comparable to vocalist T's work with the Roses Never Fade project, while "MMVIII" then builds into an explosive two-minute assault of straight-up Cleveland hardcore worship, complete with a slew of chaotic leads mixed deep in against the backbone of the composition. Moutheater, on the other hand, operates in an entirely different space, loaded with grungy, AmRep-styled "noise rock" that's a little more aggressive and in your face compliments of some forceful vocals and an incredibly warm, natural recording that really lets the plodding, bass-centric rhythms shine. I had never heard this band before, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but this is great work, and I'd quite like to hear more. I believe the 7" is limited to 500 copies, and from what I understand it's selling rather quickly, so… check out the excerpts below, and make the grab while you still can if you like what you hear!

Moutheater in Portfolio Weekly.

This is a few weeks old but I just now saw it. The first half is about a rapper, the second half is about us. -Andrew

LIVEWIRE: I've long fancied myself a champion for undiscovered talent. For as long as I can remember, I've always felt a sense of pride when a band or artist that I "discovered" in the early stages of their career became widely recognized or critically lauded. On the other hand, I also become inexplicably frustrated whenever a worthy artist goes unnoticed by the rabble. Especially when you consider all the BS that the radio stations force-feed us and/or the kind of bile that goes platinum despite the absence of any logic for its success.

Take, for instance, Canibus. He got a little shine during his well-publicized feud with LL Cool J, but the ADD-riddled majority quickly lost interest and dismissed him as just another one-hit battle rapper. The problem, of course, is that Canibus is an incredibly imaginative and cerebral emcee who puts more thought into one verse than—oh, who's a current overrated rapper?—Lil Wayne puts into an entire album. I'm not claiming Canibus isn't crazy, I'm just telling you that he writes great songs. This guy pens some of the most intellectual and conceptual rap songs since GZA was still relevant. Why not give the guy another chance? Canibus will be at Steppin Out this Friday, July 11. You'll also get to see the winner of last week's freestyle battle amongst local emcees for the opening slot. Go see what you've been missing.

And you've also got to check out promising local upstarts Moutheater this week at The Boot. I mean, you really have to. They recently recorded their Lot Lizard EP in Chicago with the legendary Steve Albini, whose creative output is far too vast to detail here. Moutheater's heavy yet intricate sound is more than vaguely familiar to the keen listener, but there's a specific freshness and intended defiance in their tunes. I think Moutheater has the potential to be a really important band in the grand scheme of music that actually matters. You can certainly form your own opinion this Monday, July 14, when these local boys will be supported by the amazing Prideswallower from Louisville and Richmond's The Catalyst. I'm truly hoping things work out better for these cats than they did for Canibus.

It's your call. You don't have to see what Canibus is really about or bear witness to the best local band since 1888. What do I care? That's just more untapped talent for me to gripe about next week. No, I take that back. Go see Moutheater.

–Jerome Spencer

Moutheater at Dead Horse Zine (Band of the month for May)

Moutheater is easily my favorite find of the last six months. Down-tuned, bass heavy jams leaning towards a hardcore version of Jesus Lizard. Releasing only six songs to date (between 7" and cassette/cdr formats), Moutheater shows more promise and originality than most of the current hardcore and punk staples at the moment.

Lot Lizard EP review on
Moutheater Lot Lizard 7"
I'm going to call it: if this isn't the only album to be named after a truck stop hooker…it is definitely the best one. You don't hear of that too often. This is something else you don't hear too often; well at least not for about twelve or so years anyway- Grunge!

That's right, Grunge; you weren't just witnessing a typo that managed to get through the editing process. Well, I'm not going to say this is full blown flannel shirt, bad hair and thermal bottoms Grunge, but it certainly has that feel to it. Moutheater make it a point to add a little metallic screaming occasionally to an otherwise powerful but sometimes sluggish delivery. The vocals are raspy and vicious; so much so that you fear the vocalist is going to lose his voice at any moment and the music is driving.

Altogether, I'd say this is a pretty solid release…Lot Lizard definitely receives an A for effort with me. I have to admit that the songs tend to run together a little, but not to the degree where you feel the band is amidst a mindless creative standstill; they just have their own style and they stick with it. The only negative comment I have for this release is the fact that nobody bothered to mark the album with Side A or Side B, which really is just a minor inconvenience, I just needed to put that out there.

Despite how interesting and surprising this is, please refrain from digging in your closets and pulling out those ball chain necklaces and Nirvana t-shirts…the Grunge revival is not here. But you can and should revel in the one of the few Grunge releases that Courtney Love doesn't have her grubby little hands on.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I did this interview last summer and it looks like the zine isn't coming out so here it is:

Who are you and what do you do in Moutheater?
My name's Andrew and I play guitar and "sing" in Moutheater.

How did the band come together? Can you give us a little background on what you have done thus far as a band?
Tim had been running Double O Recording and a lot of my previous bands would record there. Eventually we became friends and started hanging out making music late at night in the studio. Tim and I are both huge fans of late 80's early 90's stuff like The Melvins, Tad, Helmet, Nirvana, The Jesus Lizard etc and I had this idea to do a band that was the heaviest elements of bands like that but also throw in other influences like Neurosis, His Hero Is Gone, Swans, etc. That's the basic beginnings. We've toured multiple times, mostly in the northeast, midwest, and south. We've put out two ep's, a full length album, a split with a band from Germany called Vegas, some comp tracks, and we've got a 4 song 12inch ep in the works right now that will be out in the fall/winter of 2010.

How did the name "Moutheater" come about?
We spent a lot of time making lists of words we liked. My thinking when naming a band is that you're never gonna come up with some sort of word or phrase that completely describes every aspect of the band. I'm more fascinated with words and the images they evoke and the ways they sound. Two of the words that we all liked were the words "mouth" and "eater".

What are some of your main influences when writing songs?
I write lyrics a lot while listening to Swans. That band really pulls something out of me when I'm putting words together that I can't quite explain. As far as the music, I'd say the main things I've got in my head are The Jesus Lizard, Cursed, Swans, His Hero Is Gone, Scratch Acid, Godflesh, The Melvins, Tad, Neurosis, and Nirvana. I know that for Tim, Dave Grohl is probably his single biggest drumming influence. He's a huge Helmet, Failure, and Hum fan. I think those things play into his drumming a lot.

Your first 7" was recorded in Chicago at Electrical Audio Studios and recorded by Steve Albini, what was it like working with him and how much time did you spend on it all together?
We recorded and mixed that record in one 12 hour session. It was a great experience. He's obviously a fantastic engineer and has recorded some of our favorite records over the years so it was great to get the chance to work with him.

I bet he had a lot of great stories to tell, did he find any time to share some with you guys when you were not working in the studio?
We obviously had time to talk with him about a variety of different things. There were definitely some memorable moments. He's a really interesting dude.

You have been putting out cassettes and other various releases on your tape label Swim Harder Cassettes, how did that come about and why did you decide to start up a label?
I've been releasing mainly noise oriented stuff for some really great artists lately. It initially came about because we had been approached by another tape label to do a release. Things didn't work out with that so I just decided I'd do it myself. That became the No Ballet ep that we did. After that I released some things for a few friends' bands and then started focusing more on releasing noise stuff after that.

How many releases have you done so far and what are you working on for the future?
I work at an extremely slow pace with SHC. I've been doing the label since 2007 and I've only done 12 releases so far. I just finished a cassette for my noise project (Debris Amour). Coming up, I'm doing a cassette for the Joshua Norton Cabal which is one of Andrew Nolan from The Endless Blockade's projects. The tracks are great. It should be available soon.

The "Ornament" CD was released on Thrashed Records, what was it like recording your first full length as a band and what did you guys shoot for differently if anything?
With Ornament we decided that we wanted to go somewhere else again for a few days to record. We packed up all of Tim's gear and hauled it over to a ballet studio in Norfolk, VA and basically just lived there for four days to record the album. I'm really glad we did that. In regards to shooting for something different, we always just do whatever comes naturally to us at the time. I'm very proud of that album.

There are a lot of strange noises in between a few of the songs, there are parts with a lot of different feedbacks and effects, and there is even a piano in the mix, were you guys experimenting in the studio a lot or did you originally intend to incorporate that?
I wanted to put noise tracks on the album from the beginning. The idea was for each of us to be the primary creative force behind one of the 3 noise tracks. "Negative Life" is Aaron's, "Honesty" is mine, and "Negative Death" is Tim's. We did all of the noise stuff at Double O after we had finished all of the tracking at the Ballet studio. As far as feedback and guitar effects, I love noisey guitar sounds and playing and I've always tried to incorporate that sort of thing into the band, I don't use any guitar effects though other than just cranking my amp to get some distortion. I really have a "less is more" attitude to a lot of things in my life, including my guitar setup, I try and keep it as stripped down as possible. No effects pedals, I save those for my noise setup haha.

I see that a lot of your influences are from 90's grunge and experimental bands such as The Melvins, Nirvana, and even the Jesus Lizard. Did you guys grow up listening to these bands and how much of an influence have they had on your music and even in your own lives?
I grew up on a lot of that stuff. I came of age in the 90's when there were fortunately some credible artists actually making music that was appealing to the masses, . Nirvana is probably the biggest overall music influence on the band and on me as a person. That's the band the opened the doors of "punk", underground art and music culture, etc for me when I was around 11. Through them I got into a lot of other bands, Sonic Youth, Mudhoney, The Melvins, etc.

In your own words how would you describe Moutheater's overall sound?
Ugly. For me the band represents (both musically and lyrically) all of the most miserable and horrible parts of me as a person.

Favorite Nirvana and Melvins record?
Nirvana=In Utero. The Melvins=Houdini.

What touring have you done in the past and are there any plans on getting back out there in the future?
We've toured the northeast, midwest, and parts of the south multiple times. We'd obviously love to do more. We're playing DC at the end of July. We'll get another tour together soon hopefully. As with a lot of bands, the van situation is an issue and that's one of the main obstacles that we're dealing with at the moment.

Whats the status on the LP version of the full length? Will that see the light of day anytime soon?
I hope so.

What keeps you guys still excited about playing music and going to shows? What also makes your frustrated and disappointed at the same time when you step foot into a hardcore or punk show?
I'm going to skip this to avoid typing a novel length answer and/or having a mental breakdown. Some of my thoughts on some of this type of stuff can be found on my blog for those who are interested.

What are some new and great upcoming local bands from the Virginia area that people should check out?
Some of these bands have been around for a while so they're not "upcoming" but Balaclava, Vicegrip, Cough, Bastard Sapling, Lord By Fire, Heathens, Last Remaining Pinnacle, and I'm probably forgetting a bunch of others. *Edit*If I were asked about upcoming VA bands right now I would add Surrogate, Flechette, Druglord, and Pan Galactic Straw Boss to that list*Edit*

"Ornament" has been out for a while now any plans on writing material for a new record, possibly full length?
We have a new record that will be out in the fall/winter of 2010. It's a 4 song, 45rpm, 12inch, EP called "Colonial". It'll be out on Last Anthem Records.

Where do you see the band going five years down the road, where would you like to end up and what are some goals you want to set for yourselves? I'll answer each of those questions individually and then give a final explanation. I have no idea. I don't care. None. I believe that as an artist you shouldn't think about your art in that type of manner. We play our music, our way, and nothing else matters.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

While I dont' think...

...that the end of music on physical media is the best thing for the culture behind the music, I do realize that my viewpoint on the issue (which I've discussed previously in this blog if you care to read it) is in the minority and that it is probably inevitable that we will see physical media completely die (after all of the retro "oh my gosh, it's a record/cassette/cd" fads pass) in the next 20 or so years.

So with that said, I'm going to look on the bright side and be glad that while this means the end of something that I love and think is important, it's also the end of the disgusting, lowest common denominator, soulless, money-based, "big 4" major label music industry (and those independent labels operating in similar ways). We will finally see at least some of the people that have done nothing but feed off of music and art for financial gain fall to wayside. There will always be people looking for a way to exploit music and artists to make a buck and there will always be people playing music for the "wrong reasons" but at least we will see a good portion of it go away.

So while I'm sad to see physical media go, I'm glad to see it go out with a bang and drag some of the blood suckers down the hole with it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Colonial" in the SHC webstore

You can now order the new Moutheater 12inch "Colonial" directly from us at the Swim Harder Cassettes webstore.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I'd like to clarify what I mean when I'm expressing certain thoughts or ideas or using any variety of terms or phrases that could be labeled as elitism, pretentiousness, exclusiveness, etc when I'm talking about indepenent/underground music and art culture. I'm talking about weeding out the people that don't care about our culture and only those people.

Anyone from any background or lifestyle should be able to participate in this culture if they choose. This culture should celebrate individual thought and open-mindedness. But at the same time if you're going to be involved then get off your ass and fucking devote yourself and be involved. Care. It's really that simple in my mind. This culture can't sustain itself on people's casual interest.

I honestly don't see why people get so offended about this. Isn't having a culture full of people that care intensely about that culture the best possible thing for everyone involved?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

There is plenty...

...of gray area and room for interpretation as far as what the ethics of punk, DIY, and independent/underground music and art culture are, and what should be allowed within those ethics. At the same time, there is a certain amount of black and white area with no room for interpretation.

The hard lines of what is and is not are often what truly make something what it is. Nothing is an inexhaustable well, as far as it's ability to include or exclude various elements. Everything has it's limits. Those limits are the framework.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Response

I recently got an email from a young man who I've never met and who is a decent bit younger than me, asking for advice. He wanted to know about Moutheater's "success" (I know I know, I laughed too), about Albini, about labels, about recording, about touring, about all of the things you wonder about when you're young and trying to figure everything out.

Below in red is the response I sent to him:

We weren't a band long before we went to Albini. We'd all been playing in various other bands for years prior to that though. We didn't have a label when we went to Chicago to record. We just called, booked the time, and did it.

Labels really aren't important. Most independent labels are just a guy doing records out of his bedroom. People make a big deal out of being on a label and it's really not a big deal at all. Worrying about labels and records and people liking your band is the absolute last thing that should be on any artists mind in my opinion. We all have day jobs, we make very little money off of records or touring (or anything to do with the band for that matter). The labels we work with pay for our records being pressed and do a little promotion and for the most part, that's it.

Do your art, do it as best you can, and give everything you have to it. Everything else is trivial crap that is going to make you focus less on what's important, which is making the best possible music that you can make and doing it in a way that you can be proud of and that has integrity. If people like what you're doing then that's awesome. If not, then it really doesn't matter because you're making music for you. We all played in bands for many years that had zero success before Moutheater. We just played for ourselves and happened to do a band that a few people ended up liking.

Don't ever adjust what you're doing to meet someone else's standards or to try and get people to pay attention to you. My opinion is that if your band is good enough and is really on to something then it wont need to be adjusted, it wont need to be hyped. People will come to you. We've never tried to get on a label, we've never approached anyone about a record, we've never sent out a demo or anything else like that. We played our tunes the best we could and eventually a very small amount of people started paying attention.

So in the end, my best advice is, do your thing, do it the best you can, give everything you have to it, mean it from the bottom of your heart, and don't ever compromise it for anyone or anything. Don't worry about any of the other stuff. If things are meant to happen, they will.

Also don't take anything I've said as a "don't push your band forward". I'm not saying that at all. Instead, if you feel that you're ready to do a tour or put a record out then do it. Make it happen DIY style, don't beg other people to do any of it for you. When you have to ask people to do things for you it puts you in a weak position where they're going to try and control what you're doing. If the label comes to you, then you have the upper hand and can do what you want. And maintaining complete control of your music is THE most important thing. We paid for Albini ourselves with no idea what we were going to do with the recordings. When we got back, a label happened to approach us about doing a record. When we were ready to do our next record (No Ballet), we put it out ourselves on cassette. Since then, we've been very lucky in that labels have consistently approached us about doing records. But in 6 months, if we were ready to do another record and no labels had offered us a deal, we'd put it out ourselves again in a heartbeat.

One thing that I'd like to add to this is that I have no problem with an artist being successful and enjoying that success. What I have a problem with is when an artist lets success matter and/or alters his/her art to get that success.

Saturday, January 8, 2011



"Colonial" is officially out today.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The things that I create...

...are my outlets for the most negative, dissatisfied, and horrible parts of me as a person. They are figurative compartments that I use to place these parts of me in, so that I always have them, but so that I can also get joy and satisfaction out of life.

It's important to try and get as much happiness out of life as possible. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in unhappiness especially when you (as I do) put all of that unhappiness into a thing that is one of the most defining aspects of you as a person (my art). If you let that unhappiness seep into every aspect and moment of your life, you will make yourself completely mental. Life needs to feel worth living, and finding happiness as much and as often as possible is extremely important in it feeling that way.

This is something that I've been struggling with and am working through at the moment so I figured I'd share it.