Million Dollar Mouth are a 5 piece band from LA and have recently released their latest album, the excellently titled “The panicKING”. Is there room for another band for everyone to rave over? (ED: and would that really stop thousands of new bands being formed anyway come to think of it!) Who knows, but the ingredients are here for a great album that harks back to my personal favourite era of indie-alt-grungey-rock, the 90’s!
“Big Kiss” kicks off the album with confident vocals and self assured rocking out guitar riffs and a good beat to boot. It’s immediately apparent to me as if Million Dollar Mouth (MDM) sound like they’ve teleported from the Stone Temple Pilots / Queen of the Stone Age / Soundgarden era of rock and fused a nice slice of Muse in. “Space Out” see’s everything stretched out a bit more effortlessly transitioning from chugging bass to free flowing showers of rock eden psychadelica. It’s a personal favourite from the album as it wraps up much of the different faces of the band into one track with a neat guitar solo outro too!
“Lush” is a more straightforward immediate track and would do well as a radio single and hits the retro-current trend that is doing so well in the UK at the moment in rock circles. The mddle section of this track is particularly funky and familiar – like seeing an old friend. “1-4-3” has a great drum/chord structure that cross over and make the song stand out as nothing stays the same during the track but it focuses on having the critical hooks and riffs in it instead of becoming math rock. The last minute of this track is absolutely blinding too as it builds into its climax.
“Don’t Disappear” is the first non rock out track on the album and showcases a more particular stadium love song element of the band you’ve not heard until then. The lush guitar arrangements, big drums and spot on vocal delivery all add up for a powerful kick. “Keep It To Yourself” wastes no time however returning to stomping riffs and a quick fire lyrics. This track is like a classic Pilots track. Even the vocal effects seem to wander towards the band although I also detect a hint of T-Rex in there too. All the above resemblants are all great compliments to be likened to and shows the strength of the music.
“Pretty” sounds like how a pub crawl sea shanty chorus and a big rock band have collided together. There’s something slightly drunk and euphoric about the chorus that just makes me smile. “Give It Up” has slight funky twang in the guitars and takes a more traditional rock song structure and is a real joy to listen to with its purposeful verses and rising choruses. “Strong” is another favourite of the album of mine. The riff is infectious, the vocals sound particularly desperate and its just full of tweaks and chord choices that you don’t find in your average rock song.
“Stupid Like Me” continues the winning formula with anthemic gusto (and great choruses) before the closer track “Second Skin” see’s the band try something a bit different. Singer Mike sings in a higher register, the guitars sound like they are twiddled to different frequencies and the plodding chugging pace of the song make it the darkest track on the album by a mile and adds a new string to the bands bow.
“The panicKING” is a great album. It’s born to rock and is full to the brim with infectious riffs and melodies, great song structures and has a great respect from the roots where they are drawing from, but also an independance and clarity in the sound they want to produce. Million Dollar Mouth certainly have immense talent and deserve to be heard. If you are someone that remembers when great riffs were being pumped out by non manufactured groups who make music first and then do their hair after, this is right up your street.