Review: Guttermouth

(Epitaph Records)

‘Do you ever find yourself striving for perfection with a virtually worthless attempt at it?’  Goofy punks Guttermouth return with yet another disk full of shit eatin’ grins, inside jokes and punk rock nuggets that take themselves about as seriously as a fart in an elevator.  But the band has been around forever with 6 albums (this is their second on Epitaph, look to Nitro for the early years) the craftsmanship has grown to be as clever as the lyrics.  So it hooks and baits accordingly along the lines of easy to pop onto clean punk rocks that occasionally stumble along a diversion of countrified and folk-song-like paths.  But more as a goof than any stylistic homage’s being paid.  Witness the title track ‘Gusto’.  It has that oompa bass line found in most bad country, and sounds like a bit like ‘The Dave’s I Know’ from a the Kids In The Hall episode.  But if you want a hook MTV should pay a billion dollars for, check the track ‘Vacation’ and the vocal catch that bands like Sum41 and Blink182 cash in on regularly.  Lyrical depth: ‘Just because I live like an animal – Room smells like a petting zoo – Sometimes I go pee in the shower – does not mean I don’t love you.’  Or ‘I want to give you all of my foot long – and grab my hotdog and place it in your bun’ (from the dismissible ‘Foot-long’ that has a modern country beat mixed with some backing do-waaaa vocals.  The bizarre, yet strangely enjoyable surprise of this disk is ‘My Town’.  It’s as if Guttermouth snuck into a B-52’s session and swiped one of their songs.  Casio driven and Fred Schneider inspired vocals.  Why?  Dunno, but glad they allowed this on the disk.  ‘Contribution’ has an unapologetic and driven feel.  Standout track.  ‘Looking out for #1’ is the band doing it’s best Dropkick Murphy’s/Flogging Molly imitation (but sounding more like pirates than Irish).  Overall it’s when the band actually kicks out a straight up jam, that’s when they shine.  The undeniably catchy whine and generally uptempo’d nuggets of stupid fun keep this enjoyable all the way through.  Even though it often has about as much substance as gas station nacho cheese, and will go through you about as fast, but generally makes a tasty treat anytime I indulge. Small portions though, unless you want some quality toilet time.