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