Mouthus Loam

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Rating: 4.5/5

It absolutely kills me that Mouthus aren't kings of New York right now. Brian
Sullivan makes his guitar scream and squelch while Nate Nelson keeps a perfect
rhythm. Together they create some of the most destructive, challenging, and
ultimately beautiful noise rock this side of Black Dice. On their second proper
release, Loam, the band has their craft down to a science. Loam is
a five-track journey through the possibilities of Mouthus' sound. From the
sludgy Wild West intro of "Yota" to the psychotic drone outro of "Throat," the
two-piece proves that they can create music that fills speakers instead of
sounding stripped down.

One of the keys to Mouthus' success is restraint. Sure, Brian Sullivan can
choose to hammer the crap out of his guitar and melt his amp at any time, and
Nate Nelson can follow suit with a bloated Bonham-esque drum beating; but they
only do so if the composition allows it. For instance, "Yota" contains moments
where both players can show off their respective skills while staying within the
realm of the song. Sullivan does so by letting his freaky side get the best of
him for a few bars, and Nelson does so by briefly exemplifying his drumming
expertise. The result is a killer five-minute track in which the listener can be
fully amerced in the song without being in a daze.

The other key is variation. Virtually no song on this LP sounds remotely like
another stylistically. Even Nate Nelson's drums vary from free jazz ("Yota") to
industrial ("Mustanubis"). "Sheep Dust" is a career highlight from the band, in
which a creepy horror movie organ and spooky white noise frame the song, and
Brian Sullivan's feedback-frenzied fret bashing is showcased. I would have been
satisfied with two full album sides of "Sheep Dust," but Mouthus instead chooses
the path of greater destruction. In doing so, they have created one of this
year's strongest albums. Let the kings of New York take their throne.

1. Yota
2. Sheep Dust
3. Through
4. Mustanubis
5. Throat

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