Tales of bands that were poised to break…and then didn’t. The music industry is overflowing with them. And most of the bands these stories are about don’t make it out the other side.
Potty Mouth defied the trend…though it wasn’t an easy road to their latest LP, SNAFU. The trio fought their way through label hell, and finally have released their sophomore album after six years. Though if you didn’t know the band beforehand, you may think it was twenty six years, as the group channels the sound of mid-90’s alternative rock and power pop through a modern sheen with exquisite perfection.
SNAFU’s songs vacillate between anthemic power chords, made for stadium head banging, and melodic, harmony-infused choruses. “Do it Again” and “22” are both energetic firecrackers that launch the album into a powerful opening act. “22” mourns aging even as the singer realizes “Oh 22, I still do what I used to do.” Things get a little softer for the shimmering “Starry Eyes”, a love song whose clean production and vulnerable vocals make it the poppiest song on the album.
But don’t let it fool you – moments later you’re thrown off your axis by the machine gun drumming of “Liar”. This fiery punk spirit returns later on “Dog Song”, one of the album’s tightest and catchiest cuts. I found myself wishing there were more of these barnburners on the album, though that’s not to say the rest of it is lacking quality tunes. “Plastic Paradise” has a surf-inspired vibe that utilizes hazy harmonies to strong effect, and “Massachusetts” turns the east coast state into an easy singalong chorus.
What you’ll also find on SNAFU is that Potty Mouth don’t really do ballads. The closest they come to them are slacker-style indie thumpers like “Fencewalker”, which waxes with philosophical musings (“Ignorance is far from bliss. Not everyone is born with it”), or the closer “Bottom Feeder”, which plods along with crunchy chords. It’s not the most exciting of album endings, but made me want to return to “Do it Again” to get my sugar rush back.
If you’re a fan of groups like Pavement, Breeders, Cheap Trick or any group that lets their guitars ring loud while charming you with bubblegum hooks, give Potty Mouth a listen below.