April 22, 2014 - The Mylene Sheath
Dragon Mouth, the debut EP by Seattle post-hardcore band Dust Mouth, starts off with a confounding piece of ambient noise called “Pounding,” which leads into a lurching, atmospheric track called “Cusp.” It’s quickly clear that Dust Moth is a much different beast than the band members’ previous gigs, such as Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Undertow and Shift. The guitar sounds of Ryan Frederiksen (Narrows, ex-These Arms Are Snakes) are the most familiar components as he stomps on his distortion and delay pedals and gets that sweet-spot sound of My Bloody Valentine meets the Jesus Lizard. Vocalist Irene Barber (also of XVIII Eyes) is the deciding factor , her unrelenting wailing and high-pitched lilt putting Dust Mouth into a whole other sound realm than the rest of the band members have been in before. Unfortunately, it’s Barber who is the EP’s downfall. Banking on a piercing voice so prevalent in the mix is a gamble, and her love-it-or-hate-it vocal style will turn some listeners off. For a band that includes production guru Matt Bayles, one of the most visionary post-hardcore guitar players in Frederiksen, and other Seattle punk/hardcore scene vets, Dust Moth’s debut EP is underwhelming. With a few more dynamics like the swirling keyboards and complementary riff on “Months,” both steps in the right direction, this band could definitely turn some more heads.