Mouth Of Wilson – Untamed Animals
I grew up during a great period for music. The ‘80s may have had some of the worst fashion since the beginning of time, (I miss my Capezios) but the music marked the important beginning of the entertainment industry change. Early ‘80s punk and new wave evolved out of frustrations and the attitudes from label warlords who were used to dictating what the little people should be listening to. In a very quick time, these forms of music grew, dwarfing the stadium rock dinosaurs, creating a world of small, independent labels and acting as a model that alternative rock would use at the beginning of the following decade.
Mouth Of Wilson reminds me of that ‘80s timeline of musical history. Unpretentious and poignant, their songs on the new disc, titled Untamed Animals, are at once catchy and passionate, reminding me of so many cool bands from that period. When compared to others, this four-piece band creates so much more melodic structure within the framework of their songs, and it’s an important head turner. Produced by New Jersey artist Lance Reichert, Untamed Animals settles the band where they need to be and offers the listener an interesting look into a band that I feel is doing something a bit different from most.
Untamed Animals has solid continuity and while no song sounds alike, there is a theme of unity that ties them together well. The production is sweet and uncluttered. The instrumentation relies more on support roles than on solo focus. Background vocals are lush and smooth, and the guitars sparkle and swirl around simple beats and bass. What really comes into play here is the compositional teamwork that makes every song a keeper.
The opening notes of the Bowie-esque “Rebound” set the mood with an introspective and melancholy language of torn and tattered love gone sour. Guitars pull and drone with the infinite sustain of an Ebow as bass and drums punch through layers of keyboard glitter. Imagine if “I’ll Stop The World And Melt With You” by Modern English crashed beautifully into “Is There A Ghost” by Band Of Horses and you’ll see where I’m going here. Soundscaped imagery and simple, repetitive choruses draw you deep into this dark, glittery gem.
“Turnaround” is another winner here. Utilizing a vulnerable vocal style and sparse arrangement, the bands chips in to push the song into a breezy, backbeat chorus that screams for college radio attention. Keyboards and pianos meld well, supplying a minimal but lush background that compliments the vocal.
The title track comes on in three-four style, lending a prevalent progressive feel. Acoustic guitars lap against dirty electrics and complex beats as the vocalist goes melodically arabesque. The bridge is a rhythmic journey through anything from Rush to Porcupine Tree and it’s interesting to see a band go this far out of the comfort zone and make it back without falling into redundancy.
Other noteworthy songs are “The Older Gentleman,” a reflective look back at the life of a man who never pulled out of his own apathy and sadness. This is the story of the ultimate escape and the freedom of the last act of pain and desperation. Acoustic guitars and drum accents splash within the deep, reverbed well of this song’s soul.
“Open Your Eyes (Forgotten)” has radio hit written all over its romantic and blue-toned style. This band is very much in the moment of tragically downed out love and with this song, the arrangement is a summer day love affair that is sure to turn more radio programmer heads than you can shake a stick at.
There are 13 songs in all on Untamed Animals, and they all deserve a listen. Mouth Of Wilson is a band I want to see live and I’ll be watching for an appearance soon. It’s amazing what New Jersey has to offer musically, and listening to this disc was both a pleasure and an important discovery. Pick up the CD and learn more about this unstoppable and untamable band over at mouthofwilson.com.
June 5, 2011
ASBURY PARK, NJ—Yet another band with the snarl and grit of a junkyard dog infused with 2500 volts, The Obvious doesn’t let up until they’ve convinced every soul in the house that they are the band to believe in. With a vicious maturity unseen for a band this age, The Obvious has merged writing and playing talents into a strong unit of 1990s tinged Alterna-punk.
The Obvious once again use the sexy Courtney Love inspired roar of Angie Sugrim to get their point across. If this band could do it, they would inhabit the very body of 1992 Nirvana. Guitars, bass and drums fly like hornets around the halo of Sugrim’s “sexy to sadistic” vocals. Songs with the squeaky sick blitzkrieg of “KO-OK” and the hot, down-stroked vamp of “Hell Yeah” make way for the badass fuck you growl of “Don’t Match,” my favorite of the band’s compositions to date.
The crowd was thin tonight, but what they lacked in numbers was made up in the way of attitude and participation. Angie was off the stage and in the middle of her crazed fans more than once, sharing choruses and just pretty much getting buck wild before crashing onto the stage and floor, legs askew as she dragged cords, pedals and microphone stands to their doom. A great band that never gives up, even when it’s a small crowd, The Obvious make it known that they are there to keep things larger than life. Another top choice for New Jersey rock and roll at it’s best. For more on The Obvious and what shenanigans they are up to, head over to their page at theobvious.com.
EOS And Toms River Music Donate Guitars For The Troops
The soldiers that protect our way of life often lead minimal and tedious lives in the desert bases of the Middle East. Recreation is hard earned and many of our troops need things to occupy downtime. That’s why some of the base leaders have been asking for guitars for soldiers so they can learn to learn to play when they aren’t out on patrol. One base Colonel said, “These kids have nothing to do. There is one recreation center with around four Xboxes, some pool tables and ping-pong table. That’s not really much for so many people.”
Joe Birardi of the band EOS in conjunction with John Diehl of Toms River Music in Toms River have graciously joined in an effort to procure several guitars and amps for our men and women overseas. They have purchased these instruments with their own money and are asking anyone that might want to help to donate any amount towards this great cause. It’s a small thing to do considering all that these people have selflessly done for us.
Also, the band EOS will be putting their latest song, “Far Away Love Song” up on iTunes. For the month of July and all downloads of the song will be donated to the troops.
Concerned individuals that want to help can go to adoptasoldierplatoon.org and donate on the site for this great project.