Mouthbreather is yet another quintet representing for the ever-fertile Richmond, VA punk scene. For a fairly small river city, Richmond shows a diversity in their punk bands that rivals bigger scenes like the East Bay or Austin. Avail, Ann Beretta and Strike Anywhere come to mind, but they are but a few of the bigger names to come out of RVA in recent years. The average outsider would say the aforementioned bands all sound the same, but to split hairs, it’s more accurate that all of the bands sound like Richmond.
Like their neighbors in D.C., Richmond is a capital city with a crime rate as high as its median income is low. It’s a city just Southern enough to rankle politically correct Northerners, but such ‘old world’ sensibilities are juxtaposed against the fact that the fairer-complected old guard is very much a minority. Both groups have embraced the epochal “give me liberty or give me death” proclamation that rang through the city so many years previously, displaying an uneasy tendency towards the latter in recent years. While Richmond is hardly the Gaza Strip, it breeds a tension in the city that you can feel in bands like Mouthbreather.
Excoriating guitars and shouted vocals meet pounding drums and shattered cymbals here to make some pissed-off post-Flag aggro rock that will turn your head and then shred your eardrums. Born from the ashes of Wow! Owls and The SetUp, Mouthbreather released a demo a couple years ago that got a fair amount of attention. The five-piece promptly undertook a healthy touring regiment on the back of that buzz, eventually arranging for one of said tours to end in Louisville so that they could record their debut full-length with Lords drummer Chris Owens. They tracked a dozen songs in a week-long session at his HeadBangingKillYourMama Studios and claimed in Summer 2007 that they would be would be releasing the material imminently. Fast-forward to early 2009, and the Mouthbreather debut finally coming out courtesy of the good folk of Kiss Of Death. Coyly entitled Thank You For Your Patience, the debut Mouthbreather full-length pairs five songs from the demo with an equal number of new ragers, all ten of which peel paint at twenty paces.
"Dropping Cylinders" survives from the demo, appearing in a more polished form, but still taking little to no time to bore its spiky riff into your head and make you like it. Gamma-irradiated versions of other demo standouts like "Best Of Seven" and "The Nazarene" also reappear, but it’s little departures like the almost Menegaur-esque "When A Scientist Dies" and "Barium" that are the real eye-openers, showing glimmers of potential far beyond it’s horrible pun of a title. Thank You For Your Patience offers little relief for your poor beleaguered ears in the thirty-three minutes it takes to come to fruition, but its sonic headbutt is a sweet pain you’ll quickly grow addicted to. Don’t fight it; It’s really for the best. Mouthbreather take Richmond anger and pairs it with Louisville recording sensibilities to spawn a musical miscegenation that is a win-win for all parties.