By Nathan Pavolko
Massachusetts-based fem-punk trio Potty Mouth formed in 2011 with a casual “Why not?” attitude, yet their well-crafted songwriting says anything but. With an impressive EP and a rocking debut full length Hell Bent, released on Old Flame Records, this band has natural talent. Extensively touring with the likes of Perfect Pussy, Swearin’ and Juliana Hatfield quickly gained them notoriety, helping them produce their new self-titled EP, Potty Mouth. Leaving their hometown, the band ventured to London Bridge Studios in Seattle to record with the great John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Blonde Redhead, Bikini Kill). What they created was a breath of fresh air, clearly showcasing the growth and maturity of their songwriting and production since Hell Bent.
With a growling fuzzed out bass and a tightly wound guitar riff, the single, "Cherry Picking," immediately envelopes you in a 90’s pop rock flurry. A sparse vocal melody builds the song, as Abby Weems sings of a search for a new love. Then the song explodes into a power pop rush. Weems’ vocals soars as a commanding guitar riff lays the foundation alongside booming drums. Dropping into a break where the band goes into a spoken word, the vocals are muffled as if heard through an old phone. "Cherry Picking" has a sleek style with its catchy hooks and hard hitting pop tones, similar to Kim Deal’s solo project The Breeders. This song is sure to have you jumping around your room in no time.
Next in line is "Creeper Weed," a bending guitar-heavy song with incredibly fun drums to match. The rocking intro breaks down into a tame groove as Weems tells an elusive story. Drums roll and the guitars crunch into the chorus, exclaiming “I am, I am this way!” not asking for acceptance but rather an ode of staying true to one's self. The vocals during the chorus really ramp up the song, as the instruments create chaos. "Creeper Weed" is a great blend of empowerment and angst with a sexy flare. Following the track is a much more mellow song titled "The Bomb." The beginning is slow and calm with a twangy guitar playing a simple melody alongside the bass, then it booms into a gigantic chorus, kicking on the fuzz, making it a heavy transition, with vocal harmonies beautifully intertwining “I dropped a bomb and the bomb was me!”
Picking up the tempo is "Long Haul," the fourth of the five song EP. The track is vocally-driven with catchy back ups and a punky guitar filling in the gaps, as slap-happy drums gowild. "Long Haul" brilliantly shows off Potty Mouth’s pop sensibility and experimentation with more vocal harmonies. The closer of the self-titled EP, "Truman Show," is a fun blast of energy. The most traditional pop punk song on the EP, "Truman Show" possesses a punchy bass grooving along with rolling drums and a scratching guitar laying down rocking chords, ending the Potty Mouth EP on a high note, topping off the happiness gauge at full.
Potty Mouth show a more light-hearted side, within the songwriting and production of this release. There's a lot of fun to be had on the new EP, with the undeniable hooks and bright vigor of the guitar riffs and vocal harmonies. While their full length, Hell Bent, exhaled a more solemn and dark tone, this time around everything sounds bigger, louder, and more crisp. Potty Mouth is one of those bands that sounds better loud, no matter how you listen to them. These ladies really know how to rock, cutting all the excess, giving you just the bare essentials. For fans of Sleater-Kinney, The Breeders, or Cloud Nothings, check out this powerful female punk trio.