Record Review: Museum Mouth

Museum Mouth

Sexy But Not Happy

Southport, NC

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“Apocalypse rock for the pure at heart”

The sophomore album, Sexy But Not Happy, by the North Carolina-based trio, Museum Mouth, is a vivacious collective of “to the point” lo-fi rock laments imbued with pop sensibilities, which flatteringly explores themes of isolation, self-deflation and half-hearted benevolence. Armed with gritty reverb, crunching drums and ruthlessly infectious melodies, the album embodies more raw excitement than a high stakes Peruvian cockfight.

Released as the album’s first single, the bombardier rhythms of “Blood Mountain” escort verse vocals of vulnerability and the feeling of falling short as drummer/vocalist Karl Kuehn croons, “It’s not that I don’t think you’re lovely, it’s that I want you to be happy. And I know I can’t make you happy,” but inevitably reaches a point of acceptance as the chorus breaks in, shouting, “Everyone’s not the same, but it’s okay.”

Sexy’s crusade of rowdily sincere songs is coalesced by several underrated “album tracks” that supply a significant balance and cohesion to the record, generating dynamism and well-roundedness. Such elements span from the cavalry-infused verses of “Buzzbrain” to the nostalgically shocking “2005,” and in the tear-jerking relatability of “Kitchen Floor,” as well as the painfully honest “For Mom.”

Sexy But Not Happy’s blend of artistry, emotion and bare-bones basement rock, like a birthday suit or a slice of pie, leaves little to wonder, but a lot to enjoy. (Self-released)

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