(Get Better Records, out Fri 1 Mar 2019)
Oh… dear. With a great name like Potty Mouth, you’d expect great things: a bit of punky subversion, maybe some post- Kathleen Hanna style snarl, or Babes In Toyland crunch. Sadly, this album, by the Massachusetts band who recently became a trio, falls into Avril Lavigne territory from the get-go (opener Do It Again).
It’s indie with the edges sanded off, Joan Jett for the ASOS generation. If this album were a t-shirt, it would be a newly minted Patti Smith, from Urban Outfitters and worn by Kim Kardashian as she sashayed round Beverly Hills. There’s nothing wrong with mining the past, and acknowledging influences, if the songs are there. Bands like LA Witch, Amber Arcades and Death Valley Girls make music which is influenced by The Go-Gos as much as The Stooges, pop sensibility with real grit and integrity.
Pop music is fine, too. Solange shows you can mix it with R ‘n’ B, Pixx brings thoughtfulness to perfect pop. This is just derivative music which hurts my teeth.
It’s an irony that Fencewalker rails against complacency and that Smash Hit scoffs, “Give us more of that something we’re trying to sell”. It’s either a very meta prank, or they’re not in on it.
Abby Weems has a nice enough voice, and Dog Song hints at more aggression. It just all feels so cynical and dated, built for the montage when Alicia Silverstone finds that her BFF, like, really appreciates the woman in the Chanel dress for who she, like, really is.
They’re probably a fine live act. Sadly, SNAFU never ignites or even feels like it’s been created by a band. Ally Einbinder’s bass is buried under the radio-friendly, glossy production. Speedy Ortiz they ain’t. A real shame.