Potty Mouth Does Garage-Rock Proud on 'Hell Bent'

Photo by S.C. Atkinson

Photo by S.C. Atkinson

There’s no pretense about Potty Mouth: the Northampton foursome plays loud, fast garage rock with punky abandon, and if these young women aren’t reinventing the genre on their debut LP, “Hell Bent” (Old Flame), they’re certainly doing it proud.

The record is a 10-track pileup of churning guitars, clattering drums and dispassionate vocals on topics including weird dreams on the stop-start stutter of “Sleep Talk,” ambition on the careening opener “The Gap” and the effects of over-indulging on “The Spins,” which lurches into a noisy breakdown that offers a pretty close approximation of dizzy intoxication. Singer and primary lyricist Abby Weems isn’t an especially expressive vocalist — she rarely deviates from a measured inflection (the anguished “Damage” is a notable exception), but she’s an effective frontwoman who often seems to serve as a narrator for the twin buzzsaw guitars that carry out much of the action.

Although plenty of indie-rock veterans call western Massachusetts home, Potty Mouth is one of the anchors of a young new DIY scene that also includes acts like Northampton’s Speedy Ortiz and Amherst’s California X — groups who are building on the inspiration of their forebears and heading off in directions of their own.


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