Aside from an EP released in July this year entitled Got It Made, GUTTERMOUTH have been relatively quiet on the releases side for ten years. Now, the Californian punk-rockers have returned to the scene with a brand new record, New Car Smell. In an ever-popular genre that’s still hard to break into, have GUTTERMOUTH succeeded with their latest release?
The album blasts off to an energetic start with Spud Like Torso – a speedy burst of choppy and muted riffs with a heavy DEAD KENNEDYS vibe. The track wonderfully captures the essence of punk rock, with catchy, riff-laden choruses and somewhat erratic nature. The little solo that acts as a break works wonderfully, and at just under two-minutes, it hits below the belt right off the bat, which is as good a sign of a good album as you can get. On the subject of guitar work, both Geoff Armstrong and Matt Willis’s performance on the album is consistent and very well done, delivering riffs aplenty in short, sharp succession.
While the band are serious about making music, and are clearly passionate about their careers, they’re by no means afraid to show the fun side of their lives, as displayed in Soundtrack to the End of the World. The song ends with the band members laughing after its somewhat abrupt end, letting their personality and attitude shine through in the best possible way. This simply shows that the band is having fun making music they enjoy, and who can possibly dislike that?
The title track, New Car Smell, is a simultaneously fun and heavy track that compliments the entire album. The lyrics leave you wondering what the content is about, adding to the intrigue to the track and offering plenty of catchy hooks to keep you listening irrespective of their somewhat similar nature to other tracks on the album. Mark Adkins’ vocals really shine on this track, complimenting the other members well to create the highlight of the record.
Perma Walkabout is a solid contribution to the album, and is just as frantic as the other tracks on the album, however isn’t quite as memorable. The tracks Mail Order Bride and The Human Mulligan are excellent, bringing old school punk rock vibes back into the lime light, where they rightly belong. On New Car Smell, GUTTERMOUTH revive a sound that should never die, and give it the respect it deserves. The band covers are occasionally controversial on the record and aren’t afraid to be as such, sticking with the classic punk rock attitude of the band, but in a way that does not hinder their musical talent. The songs in the record are all well laid out and grab your attention, with solid contributions from Justin Van Westbroek on drums and Kevin Clark’s bass work.
GUTTERMOUTH’s newest EP, New Car Smell, brings classic punk rock back onto the table, and displays it in its raw, fast-paced, and natural form. Taking influence from the likes of DEAD KENNEDYS, GUTTERMOUTH have returned with a short but sweet 6-track record that hits hard, fast, and brilliantly. If the record is this good, one wonders what it would be like to witness this amount of energy in a live format, and what else the Californian rockers have in store for the future.
New Car Smell is set for release on November 25 via Rude Records.
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