Local Wire

Mouthus

The output of Brooklyn duo Mouthus consists — for the most part, anyway — of variations on sepulchral groans. Brian Sullivan's imploding, acidic guitar gestures and Nate Nelson's buried-in-the-mix drumming combine to form the things sweet No Wave dreams are made of: gray, fugitive whorls spinning just out of sight in dark caves. Recent recordings, however, suggest a growing restlessness, a desire to branch out. Last year's For the Great Slave Lakes throbbed and thumped so insistently and peevishly that comparisons could be drawn to raw industrial music. The upcoming Saw a Halo also deviates from Mouthus' winning, dervish formula a few times. "Your Far Church" opens like a roughshod folk song, with acoustic chords and bass drums reverberating solemnly and threatening to overshadow tentative and indecipherable dual vocals that can't be understood; before long, though, Nelson and Sullivan cinch up their arrangement, only to thrash it into rocky, extremist eff-you noise. Later, "The Gift of Sighs" visits Lightning Bolt-like psychedelic ax peel-outs. Perhaps the duo's side projects have had some influence? For a change of pace, they sometimes record and tour with White Rock or Religious Knives — projects involving members of the like-minded quartet Double Leopards, with whom Mouthus shares a studio.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Cummings