Published On: Sat, Jun 6th, 2009

Mouthwash – True Stories

 Maybe it’s the sweltering sunshine, the pretty girls that have been wandering around Liverpool or even just the fact that my first fun packed year at University has ended and I‘m now looking for a summer of thrills, but there’s something about Mouthwash’s new album that has really struck a joyful chord with me.

True Stories has been perfectly re-released on the band’s own record label WDC Recordings to coincide with their support slot with the notorious punk reggae group The King Blues and what is set to be a scorching summer.

The album is certainly a summer record and the original release date from Household Name Records in December last year was perhaps a little foolish. But with the Met Office forecasts of a heatwave this summer along with temperatures of over 30 degrees, the sweet reggae inspired, upbeat tunes of Mouthwash should be blazing out of many a stereo up and down the country.

Using skankable syncopation, a bright brass section and raucous sing-back choruses Mouthwash could be seen as being a pretty bog standard ska group, but they’re far from. The immense energy from the band resonates throughout the record in the form of samba rhythms, talks of hardship and a generally great, tight sound.

“The Sound” is like a modern day Specials track updating the 70s hypnotic two-tone sound with an added synthesised back drop to the easily digestible classic ska guitar sound. The catchy chorus “This is the sound of people living in the moment” is enough to uplift and excite even the most stubborn of music fans. And “That Girl” shows off the band’s humorous side with the beeps you get when your phone is too close to a speaker being sampled alongside a cheeky yet cheery simple song structure.

The chips on the shoulder of vocalist Nipa Fry having to work in dead end jobs for little pay in order to fund being a musician is very evident in the track “A Face In The Crowd”. This makes the South London group, who have been crafting their sound since 1995, all the more appealing.

True Stories is definitely my album for the summer and is perfect for cracking open a couple of ciders with some friends in what is set to be a beautiful few months of sunshine.

Andy Clark

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