RIYL: Queens Of The Stone Age and Iggy Pop playing poker with The Killers and Incubus while listening to a Jeff Buckley/The Strokes Mash-Up
(Complete Review by Dan Bernal)
This is the kind of CD you wait for as a reviewer; a secret, top-shelf bottle you might get the chance to crack first before it spreads around the party. There's something instantly but not specifically familiar about Million Dollar Mouth which grabs your ear and keeps it through the course of the disc. Cool drips off these warm-toned, lazy tunes like a whiskey waterfall into a bong basin. These guys sound like they're stylistically kicking the crap out of The Strokes while smoking Stone Temple Pilots' cigarettes and listening to the Marvelous 3. Whether or not Million Dollar Mouth is trendy (fast-rising L.A band...), there's an earnest cohesion to the music that defies attempted-hipster posturing. In his upper register, singer Mike Biscotti draws a little from crooner Jeff Buckley without defiling either Buckley's legacy or corrupting his own individuality. The lyrics are lightly self-effacing, Biscotti paints familiar emotions and situations without abusing cliché or waxing too clever. His cask-aged vocal depth and ease is instantly contagious over the Butch Walker-inspired poppy rock arrangements. The musicians don't push too hard or play too much, everyone seems to fit his role in a sort of equality which steadily promotes the songs over any one player. These guys have real potential.