MOUTH SEWN SHUT: Doomed Future Today: CD

Say what? Doom-laden reggae? Ska with crust overtones? From a purely visual standpoint, it was pretty easy to initially write this band off, or at least assume I knew exactly what I was getting. You know: brutal name in scary font. Dead bird on cover. Skull on back cover. LP version by Profane Existence, etcetera. This is me generalizing, right? The jaded reviewer who’s heard it all. Then I put the CD thing in the player thing and for a few minutes I’m hearing pretty much what I expected. Then the third song, “World War 3 Is Coming” hits my ears and… they’re playing reggae. Yes, it’s filtered through backpatches and a big love for Amebix. Yes, the guy’s still belting his guts out. Yes, their pedals are still in the red. But I’ll be goddamned if they’re not playing a weird reggae/ska/crust amalgamation on at least half of this record. And I’m not talking Citizen Fish “clean guitars with horns” either—this stuff’s ugly. It’s dark, dense, and simultaneously manages to be toe-tapping and mired neck-deep in gloom. Lyrics are despondent and generally pretty fucking hopeless. While there are moments on Doomed Future Today that aren’t quite successful, there’s a lot more that showcases a band that’s just on, and doing it by melding two genres I wouldn’t have tried pairing up in a million years. So if you want to measure a band’s success by, you know, radio airplay and online downloads and stuff, this one won’t do much for you. But if you want to measure success the fact that they’ve consistently engaged the listener and kept shit really interesting throughout fourteen songs, then Mouth Sewn Shut’s coming out on top.

 –keith (Rodent Popsicle)