Home > TheRest > The Stomachmouths – Born Losers

The Stomachmouths – Born Losers

Subliminal Sounds, 2003

I suppose my first question was why these guys named themselves after two body parts strung together.  It’s almost like the band had a deadline to submit their band name to the art director and, lacking any ideas, asked the nearest two year old kid to make something up.  They probably had to throw out initial suggestions such as “Mmmmmjuice!” and “What’s A Band?” before deciding on the strange moniker concoction.  Apparently they had no problem with image, but my second question is why the ruse about the art cover?  C’mon guys, I know you’re not from the 1890s.  Honus Wagner did not listen to your music either, so it is clear that you are either from the sixties or trying to be from the sixties with those haircuts.  Since sixties bands tended to name themselves after objects you might see in hallucinations (and not nightmares … stomachmouths indeed!), I figured I had a retro band here.  Those kind of groups are always worth a dollar to me.

So indeed, the creases and sepia-toned album cover matches with what the Stomachmouths deliver in music.  They are absolutely a retro garage rock band from that sixties period, even if they’re from Sweden.  I imagine when they fuzzed out their guitars and let the quivering keyboard quiver in the studio, those mop top haircuts had to swaying all over the place.  There were also probably a lot of empty bottles of Pripps Bla and Norrlands Guld beer lying around the studio as well heh heh.  What?  Impressed that I know my Swedish beer?  … okay, I looked them up.

The opener of “Don’t Put Me Down” sends the listener careening through a haze of guitars, constant rapping of drums, and the sneering vocals of Kery Stefan.  It oozes that old garage rock sound, which is pretty much the norm throughout the rest of the disc.  As one might expect from the psychedelic sixties (even though these guys were from the eighties … and Sweden …) there’ the slower grooves of “Dr. Syn” as well as the screamers of “Cry”.   They’ve also got an instrumental song like “Eegah!” which is a cross between a rock ‘n roll barnstormer and a surf track.  I enjoyed hearing the keyboardist trying to keep up with all that bash and reverb.  No matter what act these guys were trying to emulate at the time, the record is non-stop momentum.

Unfortunately, a lot of the music seems potted up much too high, as if it’s trying to hard for volume that it sort of irritates the ears a bit.  I noticed this halfway through the disc during “You’d Better Find Out”, probably due to the overabundance of guitar and Kery’s singing.  “Hold Me Now” has the keyboardist holding one note throughout most of the song and it is always present in the foreground.  Hey, I’m all for loud music, but something about the production seems piercing and muddled.  At least the energy still comes across, but a little breathing space isn’t bad to have once in awhile.

Oddly enough, the last thing I thought I’d hear is a pretty dead on impression of Cartman (from “South Park”) on “Something Weird”.  I know that Stefan was probably trying to sound bizarre given the song title, but he probably didn’t know that he could have been the inspiration for a humorously politically incorrect cartoon.  Despite the resemblance, I’m glad this is a one and done approach … something about going nasal on a rock song doesn’t really do anything for me.  Thankfully typical rock songs like “Speed Freak”, “Heart of Stone” and “Keep On Looking” keep this record afloat with great grooves.

You can certainly hear a few tunes from these guys on their MySpace page, but I like the live Youtube video from a Stomachmouths show.

I like the disc enough and I think I would have really enjoyed seeing the Stomachmouths play live somewhere, but the music has obviously been done before (aka the sixties) and there aren’t too many standout tracks that I might particularly return to.  They had to be well-loved in Sweden though, or at least that is what the extensive liner notes give the impression of.  The Stomachmouths are, of course, no longer around but this compilation ultimately gives as good enough of an impression as one will need if they want to know what they missed.

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