Friday, November 26, 2010
Review : Mouth Sewn Shut - "2009"
Back with their third full-length record, Mouth Sewn Shut again attacks the crust scene with a ferocious blend of rough reggae and hammering hardcore. On 2009, though, the title is more generic, the artwork is more generic, and instead of a more evenly weighted ratio of crust to ska, there are far more of the traditional, generic crust tracks.
But generally speaking, it’s still a pretty good collection.
Most of the complaints being lodged against 2009 are the result of it directly following the superb Doomed Future Today. If it wasn't for that, 2009 would probably feel a lot more fresh and a lot less like a rehashing or part-two than it does here. But that’s also because not only are the song styles generally the same, but even some of the themes repeat, like 2009’s “They’re Watching You,” which doesn’t deviate far at all from the previous release’s “Watch Out.” Many of the tracks aren't even rehashes--they’re just the same song re-recorded and altered a bit, like “World War Three Is Coming.” In fact, the entire second half is re-recorded tracks from Pandemic=Solution.
However, there are still plenty of gems on 2009. Manic misanthropy bubbles over the frenzied ska of “My Enemies’ Enemy Is No Friend of Mine,” while “Pro-Nature, Anti-Human” rejects any and all notions of a human needs-based society in favor of what’s best for the Earth around us. “I Refuse” is perhaps the most sensible take on drug and alcohol use that has ever come out of the crust scene, with lyrics that take a good, hard look at supporting addiction business: “Millions hooked on poison for profit / I know that my refusal is never going to stop it / I won’t be one to contribute to the problem / If you don’t start somewhere you’re never going to solve them / The chains that keep you down are your own addictions.”
Even with the repeats and rehashes, the album is pretty strong. The only track that lacks the punch of the others is “Drunk White Jesus,” which is a little loose musically and with lyrics that are too nonsensical to take seriously. The rest of the record is a solid collection of political hardcore and crusty reggae that rounds out Mouth Sewn Shut’s catalog with a few of their best songs.