Mouthus – Follow This House

Follow This House

The members of Mouthus have been very busy lately. The duo’s 2006 album, The Long Salt, channeled the splattering percussion and warped tape rot of groups like Dead C and Hair Police. Since then the band has been releasing material at an alarming rate. In the last year alone Nate Nelson and Brian Sullivan have had a 3-way split with Double Leopards and Sunroof! called Crippled Rosebud Binding, a split CD-R with Cousins of Reggae, the Sister Vibration LP, and in 2007 For the Great Slave Lakes and now Follow This House. That doesn’t even take into account side projects like Death Unit and Eskimo King. Unlike The Long Salt with its din of impenetrable distortion, Follow This House finds the group at its most minimal and oddly beautiful.

Follow This House shows off a new side of Mouthus, quiet and reserved. Instead of the squalling wall of sound found on recent recordings or even the abrasive acoustics of Slow Globes, the album is held together by twilit strands of ghostly time-collapsed wordless vocals and the pink noise of somewhat melodic repeating guitar figures. “Vacation Eyes” demonstrates all of these qualities wonderfully. Behind the infinite sounding strain of guitar, one can hear those haunting vocals and what could at first be the sound of hooves clip-clopping in the distance. Over the course of the track’s seven minutes, the ambling percussive sounds become more like bells echoing in a harbor than horses. “Cameras” follows suit with more low drone guitar wash and a clanging tone not unlike pre-Bad Moon Rising Sonic Youth. “Lake” and “Half-Thaw” both present slight but no less interesting variations on this theme.

Clocking in at a short 36 minutes, Follow This House is proof of further development in the Mouthus camp. While so many bandwagon hoppers offer up uninteresting versions of similar material from album to album, Brian Sullivan and Nate Nelson have spent the last few years developing a distinct sound. I’m sure this won’t be the last recording we get from them in 2007, and that is both promising and exciting.