Mouthus – For the Great Slave Lakes (Threelobed) 2006


This one of my favourite recent additions to “the Special”. I don’t know much about the band. All I know is that they’re a two piece from Brooklyn. One fellow drums and the other plays the guitar. They have a couple of official releases out there which are pretty easy to pick up but this is the first and only thing I have heard from them. This record was a bonus disc given to subscribers of Threelobed’s Modern Containment series (it featured discs by Hush Arbours, Wooden Wand and Bardo Pond to name a few.)

This is a a slight step back form the pure, harsh noise groups doing the rounds at the moment. Somewhere under the hellish mire is a drummer. A real drummer as opposed to some incessant drum loop churning out wave on wave of sickening aural horror. Mouthus have a real rock vibe happening here. A heavily de-constructed industrial, free-noise, rock vibe but I guarantee you, it is there. It may not be apparent at first but for a couple of tracks it’s almost a garage, swamp rock feel happening under the noise. The first track The Final Tribes has a couple of bass style noises ( I mean it might be a bass or some digital thing … who knows?) but to me it sound like Tracey Pew from the Birthday Party grinding his bass from the third circle of Hell.

There is something fantastically organic and human about For the Great Slave Lakes. Pete Swanson is right, it reeks of The Dead C and although Mouthus are a very different beast this record also made me think of Birchville Cat Motel. There is something approachable about it, its not all machines and death. Sure the metal machine music is all here. Bits of metal clank and clang but When We Were Graves has something which sounds oddly like maracas. There is oxygen in the noise. There are humans behind the racket. Even at their most machine like, the loop heavy track, Where Was I When I Laid to Rest There, is grounded by the intermitent smashing of cymbals. Many will disagree, but the frenetic drumming grounding the whole track (somewhere under the distorted fart of the electronics) reminds me of a de-constructed George Hurley doing Nuff that Shit George from Firehose’s “fromOhio.”

If you’re new to noise you need to track this down and perhaps also get yourself a copy of Yellow Swans “Global Cone” while you’re at it.

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