Sometimes, not often, a band like Badmouth lands on my desk and simply blows me away. From Sweden, via America's own Romulus X Records, comes some of the best butt-kicking, groove-laden, and big sounding rock and roll I've heard this year. Badmouth desires to write and perform songs in the great tradition of Dokken, Aerosmith, GnR, and AC/DC. They have succeeded big time. Much of this is because this band of brothers has great talent. But another reason is that they have hooked up with legendary producer Paul Sabu (Heart, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, et al). That is quite a coup for a first work.
The first two songs, 'Pedal To The Metal' and 'Kick It Up!' give more than a strong hint of the direction of Badmouth's music. The former is raw and rowdy, the latter a melodic rock and roll anthem with a big chorus. Some of the best work is when the rhythm section stands out like on 'Last Train' and 'Rivethead.' And 'Rivethead' is a killer song with some acoustic riffs driving a steady and melodic arrangement that leads to a subdued yet brilliant guitar solo. 'Hell Tonight' follows with stronger, heavier riffs wrapped in a tight melody and locked down with another fiery guitar solo.
Humor and satire is not lost in Badmouth's songwriting. 'Cocaine Girl,' a fine melodic rocker with some great riffs, knows how to deliver a punch line when Tom Pearson sings, 'She don't want no brand new clothes, all my money goes up her nose.' Later, on '... And Take Your Toothbrush With You,' tongue is definitely in cheek when we hear, 'And take your toothbrush with you, the bra that's hanging from my door.' Then with a nod to Mod Rod, 'But you better not be here tomorrow morning when I wake up.' Funny stuff, and the music for both is great, too.
If there is any flaw and they are difficult to find, it is the sometimes strangely gruff background vocals. To my ears, it doesn't sound natural like the band is actually doing them.
I'm completely impressed with Badmouth. This band has a boatload of talent and inspiration and so produce some great rock and roll. Highly recommended!
Sweden's Badmouth are performing some of the best melodic hard rock I've heard from overseas in a longtime. Neither derivative nor attempting to put a modern stamp on the bygone days, Badmouth delivers the goods: straight up, rowdy rock and roll with tons of attitude and melody.