June 6, 2013
Like all bands to rise from the Western Massachusetts DIY scene over the past year, Northampton punks Potty Mouth get unfairly lumped into the Dinosaur Jr. dirivites category based on proximity (and the general lack of knowledge of what exists in the area other than a broken Sonic Youth home.) At this point, the critical mass needs to realize that there's far more depth and influence being absorbed into the 413's soundboards than just a brat pack of emerging artists attempting to recreate the moment SPIN dubbed Noho "the next Seattle." On September 17th, the four-piece BUZZSound of friends from the five college scene will get their chance to redefine the Western Mass sound when they release their debut full-length Hell Bent on Old Flame Records. "The Spins" is the first sweet taste off the album, and it captures exactly what AwkwardSound means when it says you shouldn't judge a band by its zip code. The dueling slush of Phoebe Harris and Abby Weems' riffs (alongside the latter's bluntly-shaped vocals) profess as much an interest in Exile In Guyville and Slumberland indie pop as they -- alongside the big-dinned rhythm from Ally Einbinder and Victoria Mandanas -- do colorful and catchy Aughties pop-punk that could have easily been part of their adolescent diets. They tackle the latter without all the dumb jock jokes, thankfully, which kind of makes them sound like the more mature and intelligent answer for anyone who got tired of watching a group of dudes endlessly embarrass themselves front of house for thinking a fun-sounding chorus line must be met with silly lyrics. Curiously enough, Weems doesn't elaborate much in the listen aside from repeating the refrain ("It's hard to say no when you're lying on the floor...") but she's wise enough to know when to hit restart after breaking away with a battle cry in its final third. Western Mass and its music scene isn't fancy -- I'll give it that, but on "The Spins," Potty Mouth dress up punk with their own fashion choices and not the ones handed down to them.