Houston’s Mouthing Pack Staggeringly Raging Grind On Grueling Debut Release

Listening to the new Mouthing record feels a bit like running into a wall at full speed, over and over again, for about 15 minutes. The self-titled, seven-track release is the debut record from the Houston-area group, who describe themselves on Bandcamp as a “Loud noisy experimental mess.”

The band combine monstrous heaviness with frantic grind and off-kilter rhythms that send the whole mix through a grueling psychologically upheaved haze. There’s also plenty of chemical burn-style feedback soaking the record to the metaphorical bone — it’s not as though there’s any kind of overproduction here. Instead, there’s just a staggering level of in-your-face urgency, which seems buoyed by the truly adept musicianship from the folks behind the album. It might take a moment to adjust to the fiery sonic onslaught, but there’s a helluva lot of intricacy in the songs, which helps firmly establish the sense of a real-world sincerity.

On track two, “Separating Noise from Stillness,” the band’s spiraling grind builds into a closing segment centered on methodically heavy blasts of riffing, which subsequently lead into the remarkably striking riffs that open the following track, “Bind.” The vibe of the music feels like a sonic encapsulation of emotional devastation mixed in with a complete disconnect from any sort of emotional stability — it’s like getting thrown into a whitewater raft that was already in motion without any time to even put on a life jacket. Instead, it’s just time to hold on.

“Bind,” like the track before it, ends with some methodical-feeling, monstrously heavy blasts of chaos. “Plead” opens with a unique and even rather startling vibe — there’s a good helping of vocals on the song that have a kind of dejected post-punky feel. Most of the time, the vocals alongside the raging grind avalanche sound shrieked — but not here. Meanwhile, “An Exiled Innocence” gets into hardcore-like riffing for a bit, and these lurching heaves of riffing take an even more prominent position on the record’s closing track. Getting to the conclusion of the album feels a bit like falling flat on your face after falling down a flight of stairs.

5/5 Stars

Check out the album below! It seems like it would appeal to fans of Diploid, dianacrawls, Flouride, and others. It’s available on 12″ lathe from The Ghost is Clear Records and tape from Zegema Beach Records. (The U.S. ZBR store is at this link and the Canada/ International one is here.)