It’s a Friday. The last day of an all too short vacation in south Florida. It’s raining outside – a weird prelude to the return to the blahs in Ohio to come later today. Yet, I feel pretty hopeful and optimistic.
That seems like a fitting allegory for this debut EP from emo/alt outfit Mouth Movements, methinks.
There are some pretty brutally honest lines in the course of this EP. One of the biggest zingers comes in “Empty Greens,” which ends with “and I know there’s no place colder than the space between the flannel sheets and you.” This seems to be the lyricist’s effort to really stick it to an old flame, however there’s a strange comfort that comes with other lines on the EP – namely one section in “Haven’t Been Sleeping”:
I never forget the sound of birds outside your 3rd floor window as the sun spilled in and lit up everything. but we left the lights on anyway and its times like these where insecurities are forgot
It’s unclear if the songwriter is referring to the same person in those two songs I mentioned, however it speaks to the overall brand of Mouth Movements. Brutally honest lyrics with an undertone of optimism. Once they say what they need to say for their own catharsis, they want to focus on the good and see the best in people.
Overall, the sound of Mouth Movements is compelling and accessible for a music listener like me; one whose default genre isn’t emo or pop punk, yet has a periodic deviations in that direction. Each song feels like a journal entry sung against a backdrop of driving rock. It isn’t quite radio friendly but it certainly is catchy – “Queen Size” was a good choice for a lead single in this regard. The vocals of Walker Atkinson have a very consistent, matter of fact delivery that doesn’t waver a whole lot from song to song, though it never feels inauthentic. He just is. And, having a versatile group of friends to complete the sound is everything you need to make this EP a winner.
In our Ohio Bands to Watch article for this year I mentioned that Mouth Movements first drew me in with a Cheap Trick cover. I’m glad they were able to keep and grow my attention with the release of No Place Colder.