A theme runs through this cathartic blend of grindcore and electronica, a theme that is well described by the album cover and title, Dead Mountain Mouth. Listening from beginning to end gives you the impression of being half-dragged through this scorched, apocalyptic landscape: occasionally you catch your breath, and towards the end you even begin to drift off into a comfortable sleep, but you’re inevitably – relentlessly – pulled back into the realisation of the horrors unfolding around you. The vocals are as distorted as all the instruments, which sound like they were recorded in the burning yurt of the cover. The fact that they were recorded in Salem, MA, of witch-burning fame, is just as appropriate.
In a fast-paced album like this, no period of relative calm (or, well, anything) lasts for longer than a minute or so. The ‘sleep’ just described comes in the form of Aphex Twin-like synths and programmed drums, which meld into the guitar lines or battle with them. It is this latter choice that makes this album so interesting for math rock listeners: while second album Board Up The House has many moments of impressively harmonised guitar and synth, this album mostly elects for a disorientating cut-up method, splicing things like dissonant guitar, hip hop and blast beats, blips of near silence, and even occasionally chunks of other riffs, together at rapid pace. Hear ‘White Walls’ and ‘Greek Beds’ for examples of that last innovation.
It’s not incomprehensible though. Occasionally it gets so catchy that it invites you to dance, but you’re always hastily reminded of the unforgiving landscape.