Brilliant drum work stands out from the offset on this release from Mantooth and the rock edge and energy continue to grow throughout. Humpty Dumpty smashes into action with the fast pace of punk and the distorted riffs and vocal style of indie-rock – all of which feels fairly nostalgic, but a crisp, clean recording style adds a definite touch of freshness; alongside of some brand new songwriting.
Stop, My Feet are Killing Me takes things in something of a blues-rock direction, with a hint of grunge. There’s plenty of character to the set-up and the riffs that lead the way – the vocal too has an element of theatrics about it, not unlike glam rock or the sort of sound that would make for a bold and memorable live show. The lyrics hold tight to your attention as they seem to offer consistently interesting ideas and striking lines.
Cockroach Brain continues the indie-rock vibe and feels reminiscent of early noughties bands who dominated the festival scenes at the time. Then you get the gradual build up of Seven Brides for Mantooth, a musically satisfying song with some great riffs – simple and memorable. The lyrics and the overall concept intrigue, and musically the track veers off for some creative instrumental breaks in unexpected yet worthy show of re-direction.
Invisible Cars follows with the same kind of energy as before – you get a strong sense again that this is the sort of band you want to witness in the live setting. Having said that though, for the hardcore rock fans this playlist in full refuses to disappoint. It keeps the momentum going throughout – with perhaps the mild exception of the intro to Going Wrong. Offering a slightly more spacious ambiance, this track, for me, has something of an Offspring vibe at first. The verses present a new vocal style, almost whispered – it’s gentler than what precedes it but the weight of the music still hits hard; particular the hook. Contrast is notably effective here. A definite highlight.
Sovereign is another piece with an epic intro, perhaps the most musically atmospheric and impressive of all. There are various stages to this track, giving it that theatrical feel again and making this more of a journey in itself than a simple song. French Pony Ride follows and brings the project to a rather mighty finish. Colourful riffs and effects cascade around you, as well as a distinctively expressive leading vocal performance that meanders passionately throughout the various moments of the song.
OU81TOOTH undoubtedly gets better as it goes along, not just because you get to know the band a little better, but because the writing and the set-up of these songs lead the musicians down some creatively free pathways that intrigue and appeal in a whole new fashion. As suggested, the real rock fans out there will almost certainly love the sound of this project in full. French Pony Ride goes out with a bang and a brilliant guitar solo – those drums too, offering one last blast at manic perfection. A great way to end the show.