[Album Review + Stream] Mouth Wired Shut – Mouth Wired Shut EP

The new Mouth Wired Shut EP promises heavy rockin' tunes.

Cleveland native Joey Ariemma (Omerta) has a brand-new set of tunes for your aural perusal. Mouth Wired Shut, the EP, is a three-song collection of tunes that promise to devastate the senses, but does the brutality of the album art live within the music?

At its core, the Mouth Wired Shut EP is a modern-rock album that seeks the fire and intensity of such bands as Stone Temple Pilots or Alice in Chains – harnessing heavy guitars to paint a depressed picture of distortion. In some ways, the EP is successful in this endeavor. Ariemma (vocals, guitars) shows off his impressive guitar skills throughout, and the riffs he crafts are well-accompanied by the leads and solos on the album. The song “My Generation” is well within the school of Jerry Cantrell and Alice in Chains – crushing riffs with polished leads and solos.

Joey Ariemma - guitarist, vocalist, and leather strap enthusiast. (Photo: BitchStraps.com)

Far from a clone, Mouth Wired Shut takes on its own musical identity with its upbeat feel, in contrast to the gloomy musical landscapes Cantrell created. On “Burning Down the Day”, Ariemma uses Dream Theater-esque guitar harmonics and doubled lead guitars to accent the solo section. Ariemma cites Jimi Hendrix as a major influence as well, and that influence certainly does permeate the guitar work.

Where the EP falls short is in its feel and lyrical content. At times, Ariemma’s lyrics feel a bit sophomoric and predictable. While song lyrics do not necessarily need to make sense or have a point, the lyrics in this EP get distracting at times. The lyrics seem to be intended to reflect devastation or pain, but simply sound inauthentic. Perhaps that is a side-effect of youth, or a dearth of true devastating experiences.

Though the lyrics may seem a bit forced at times, Mouth Wired Shut was, in fact, born from a truly devastating experience for the group’s frontman. The album art (pictured above) is from an actual hospital X-Ray of Ariemma’s skull after a serious head injury, one serious enough to necessitate his jaw being wired shut. So yes, the band name is actually derivative of a real-life experience! That in itself is pretty cool, and shows a certain measure of courage in not only overcoming adversity, but embracing it.

Perceived faults aside, Mouth Wired Shut is an EP with musical merits, and certainly worthy of a listen. From all the appearances of the promotional efforts of Mouth Wired Shut and Ariemma, the band is on a determined path. The optimism and determination of Ariemma and his bandmates are likely to lead to success in the future, and if the band continues to improve, I have no doubt that they will be a group that will deserve attention.

Mouth Wired Shut – the EP is available for a FREE download from the band’s website.

Mouth Wired Shut – Tracklist
1. My Generation
2. Burning Down the Day
3. Razor’s Edge

MWS Lineup
Joey Ariemma – Vocals, Guitars
Tommy Kooser – Bass
Nick Samson – Drums

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6 responses to “[Album Review + Stream] Mouth Wired Shut – Mouth Wired Shut EP

  1. Pingback: [Concert Review + Setlist] Rob Montague, Downplay, and Silverlights at the House of Blues, 1.4.12 | The Rock.

  2. This hurts to listen to. These lyrics are soooo bad. Fuck the guitar. This dude needs to stop making music and find a new hobby. It sounds like a bunch of 15 year olds got together and tried to be heavy. I am embarassed that I even listened to this….horrible

    • Well, the cringe factor is pretty high when you’re listening to it, especially during “My Generation” and he sings the line “Fuckin’ liberate me”. I mean…really? Perhaps my enjoyment of the TV show “The Office” is what allows me to get through it..I suppose I am entertained by cringeworthy fare..

    • So many friggin’ haters… A couple local kids makin’ Rock N Roll… Way to support your locals… I listened to it… Not bad… Young group starting out… GREAT ENERGY… They’ll get their fine tuning… They have a long way to go, and i’ll bet money they’ll get there… the kid kills it on Guitar… you can buid on that… I wish them luck… SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ROCK N ROLL…

  3. 15 year olds are not capable of this caliber of musicianship, these guys clearly put some serious time into their instruments. I know veteran guitar players who will burn their guitars and call it quits when they hear this. Vocals are a little rough but not overdone. Lyrically, the emotions are dry and at times redundant but who are we to judge? Some of the greatest songs of all time don’t even make sense. As a sound, heavy yet melodic, right up front, in your face, even when they decide to turn it down and go the pop route. Much of the criticism this band will face will be due to the populations “desensitization” so to speak, of the over produced radio hits of modern day radio. Better add some auto-tune and Bieber fever if your going to please your critics boys.

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