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Reviews
Mouthpiece - Can't Kill what is Inside
Wednesday, July 01 2009 @ 03:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Jack The Ripper

Can\'t Kill what is Inside

Artist: Mouthpiece United States

Title: Can't Kill what is Inside

Label: Revelation records United States

Genre: Hardcore

Track Listing:

01 To the side
02 With this regret
03 Face tomorrow
04 Cinder
05 Left of you
06 What remains
07 Nothing there
08 What was said
09 Hold back
10 Column
11Again
12 Gauge
13 Abandon
14 Strip the threads
15 Open up
16 Abandon
17 Can we win
18 Still
19 Distracted
20 Frame
21 Hold back
22 Never enough
23 Stick to it
24 Massive outro

Today the straight edge movement is a phenomenon that embraces multiple continents and diverse religious ideologies or political agendas, thousands of people and an aesthetic set that is representative of a way of life, in synthesis it does constitute some post modern vitalism with a puritan dogmatization for living according to its rules. It couldn’t have been born anywhere else but America as revulsion against the alienated type of society anchored in consumerism and using those standards to annihilate the self, also takes structural elements from the protestant codes to subvert the dispersion caused by “sinner” way of life. Anyway, the thing starts an important historic landmark whenever it represents the effort from some youth sector to thwart social standards and ultimately creating a sub cultural genre originally founded on musical creations. The scene has evolved, many have leave, some others have come and the starting point seems today vague and distant, perhaps not even clear. Mouthpiece already completed the cycle now but they started in some middle point. Almost a decade after the apparition of the Washington scene, practically breed during the expansion of the straight edge movement through the US during the late 80s. The band was raised upon repeated listenings on bands like Sick of it all, Gorilla biscuits and Chain of strength. New Jersey was their cradle and they recruited an entire retinue of followers and musical disciples during their short existence as a band, from 1990 to 1996. The time has come for a whole compilation that comprises all their discography including EPs and even outstanding live shows that serves as a testament over their stay on planet hardcore.   

“You can’t kill what’s inside” starts with their more advanced material, that presents a sound that is particularly polished and advanced, where their primal rage and energy is somehow appeased and less rough. Their hardcore is not eruptive nor overly emotional or mad, it is like a concentrated muscle burning or a beaten cola bottle vibrating in a table in controlled stillness. Their brained guitar riffs and rocky combo hooks buzz with energy and definition. The basic hardcore formula is there but these kids adapted their own form, distancing a bit from the norms. Let’s highlight the star from the beginning. The bassist Sean Mcgrath is a damn fucking genius and this is probably the principal characteristic that defines their style. Their lines are so concrete, hammering as apertures for the tracks to commence and then just sitting there with its fatty throbbing amongst the thick grab from the buzzing rhythms from the guitars, creating really moving tracks and rocking duets. Riffs in general are short, marked with low to mid paced velocity when they require to distil energy they use not velocity as their method but to slow down the elongation of the riff, concentrating energy in the buzzing sound and punching with drumming. “Face tomorrow”, “Left of you”, “Nothing there” are good examples on this (Check the bass lines at start and playful sets during tracks).

Some other tracks are more edgy and bring more typical hardcore hooks, aggregating punch and stamina, high tones and repetition for the set of walking riffs to provoke movement, “Cinder” comes as a good example. Lyrics as usual in hardcore are situational and narrative, describing feelings and events and exploding in emotional chorus lines that generally focus on the more frenzied moments for the riffs. Their heaviest track is perhaps “Nothing there” which is highly flammable and demarks the limit from their musical aggressiveness, very sharp sound and controlled set of riffs with dynamic advancement but not overly brutal or mad. Till “Abandon” the album portrays the more polished and new side from the band, last half will bring a sound decidedly more unpolished and rough, more assented in the paragon of garage hardcore, reminiscent from the old school hardcore, melting slow riffs with frantic combos, definitively more punky.  “Abandon” is a great track full of rage, establishing rhythmic changes, urgent riffs aligned with killing bass lines and with the funny sound of trash can from the drums (This is especially appreciable on the demo version). This last half shows slow and deep riffs combined with massive hooks full of strength and simple rhythmic changes levelling things up and attesting the motion of a euphoric listener.

Well Mouthpiece certainly did their way through planet hardcore after listening this album. It represents a worthy testimony of their days, showing a band that comes not as the ultimate hardcore novelty but that generaly portrays the influence taken from the movement, a hardcore version with a sharp vision and feeling that was practically a method to create a solid union between youth and an agile expression for the disoriented. If punks are not dead, hardcore and its subsequent straight edge derivation never will be too while there is bands maintaining the legacy.

     



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