MOUTH WASHINGTON: Remiss: LP

Jan 21, 2022

We talk about heaviness like it’s a redeeming factor. But sometimes the weight of a thing, its heft, can be crushing. It’s easy to listen to music and not feel a thing, so common are tropes and styles. And why not? Getting away from the press of agony pandemic days bring can be a relief. But for me, it’s always the music that makes me feel something that I value the most, no matter the time period. On Remiss, Portland, Maine’s long-running Mouth Washington weave a concept record about a woman named Constance Fisher, who was sent to a mental hospital after drowning her three children in a bathtub in 1954. When she got out, in 1966, she drowned three more of her children, also in a bathtub. Why listen to something so grisly? Fair question. Singer Max Hansen’s vocals are on the bus to Hot Water Music’s ballpark, though (perhaps not surprisingly) with none of the poppiness we’ve come to expect from Gainesville. These songs are knotty affairs, complex without being flamboyantly mathy, with parts seldom repeating, much less relying on pedestrian verse-chorus-verse structure. And add to all this the fact that guitarist/keyboardist Will Held passed away shortly after this record was recorded. It’s heavy. Harrowing, haunting, and worthy of repeated listens, despite the effort. Hell, because of the effort. –Michael T. Fournier (mouthwashington.bandcamp.com)

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