Eat Your Face - Guttermouth
Guttermouth would dearly love to be shocking. At times, they very nearly succeed and, if it wasn't for the sheer fun that this album offers, some of it might be considered rather tasteless. That's actually an understatement, but we shall discuss this later. Just look at the cover for now. Whatever it is, its something unpleasant no doubt. Musically, they occupy the same hemisphere as ‘noisy guitar’ US punk outfits such as Bad Religion, but there all comparisons must end for Guttermouth have rather a more extreme political viewpoint. Perhaps an apolitical viewpoint is more correct, though, as they make very clear on their first song, Tea For Two which pours scorn on the Rock the Vote campaign with its chorus - "When you cast a vote in the two party system/That’s when you lose for sure." Subtle it isn't but it is quite funny and fairly astute and loaded with puns and references to various aspects of American political life. It has a killer riff as well, and that always helps.
This is a comic book of an album, its stupid, dumb and often genuinely funny, albeit in a very juvenile way. Look no further than Octopus Hairpiece, a song that pokes fun at people losing their toupees when swimming. If you think that's childish, listen to The Next Faux Mohican which pokes fun the kids who like punk and, at times, they come across as rather bitter old men which isn't really a bad thing. And you can't possibly feel anything other than good things about a song that lifts it's whole middle section from the bridge of the Scooby-Doo theme. Ironically, this song features a little dig at kids dressing like Eminem. It's ironic because vocalist, Mark Adkins, at times sounds very much like Eminem. His voice is crystal clear, very expressive and has the same sort of range as Mr. Mathers especially when he's in storytelling mode or poking fun at something, which they do a lot of. Surfs Up Asshole is exemplary of this style. It's has a stomping, meaty chorus that consists of the song title chanted over and over again, between a hilarious diatribe about plastic punk surfers.
If you've no sense of humour, then leave this well alone. But if you find the line "Some people come here to take a crap/But I came here to leave one" from The Next Faux Mohican at all funny, then welcome aboard. What about "Emo geeks and PC chicks if you want equality grow a dick"? Not quite as funny, is it? Is it? It is, actually, so there. Well, it is, when delivered, as it is here, in a glorious 'fuck you' expression of loathing at the humourless branch of the PC brigade. How about a tale of how they stopped a baby from crying by giving it an overdose of heroin? We're on shaky ground now, aren't we? Taken out of context, and it would be rather tasteless, but amongst the scatological humour and quips on the rest of the album, it fits in rather well, and it's so over the top in its attempt to be shocking that it goes completely over the top and lands squarely in the land of black humour. It's as though they sat down and actually spent time trying to think of the most shocking thing they could think of to write about and then went and recorded it. If this is taken into account, it, and it is the worst thing they could think of, its almost sweet in its naivety. Bet they never thought someone would say that. After a while, it becomes impossible to take offence at anything they say, cos if something slightly unpleasant comes along, then a few seconds later, something that makes you laugh out loud comes along and so they're instantly forgiven. They might be dumb, but they're not stupid.
If you do decide to invest in the album, listen out for the bonus track that comes about ten minutes after the last song fades out. It's very weird and very funny.