SINGLE REVIEW: “Meth Mouth” – Up In Smoke [2014]


Artist: Up In Smoke

Track: Meth Mouth – Single


Strung out—veins leaping from your neck and forearms like a perverse roadmap, scalp patchy and fingernails chewed to the bone. You’ve been left, toyed with and wanting for a fix; anything to get you through another night. However, what your veins throb and itch for—what you’ve pulled handfuls of coarse, biotin-deprived hair out of your head for—isn’t a simple drug or substance. Rather, it is new music from Arkansas-based kings of passion and aggression Up In Smoke, and while it’s been since November that your ears have gotten their fix, that is about to change with the band’s latest single, “Meth Mouth.” Where In Medias Res was a diverse and emotional adventure through hard-hitting, beatdown-tinted metalcore, “Meth Mouth” is a whirlwind of blistering instrumental bitterness and downright relentlessly angry lyricism that perfectly mirrors the band’s movement towards a more dissonant and devastating sound.

“Meth Mouth” differentiates itself from Up In Smoke’s previous works by degrees of intensity and musical maturation. Where In Medias Res walked a fine line, balancing moments of serene, smooth beauty with spine-snapping brutality, “Meth Mouth” focuses entirely on dissonant, skin-flaying oppression. Guitars range from riff-driven and distinctly southern in nature to steamrolling, devastating breakdowns with bass-heavy fill work and shrill, throat-rending vocals. In a word, “Meth Mouth” is simply intense—rather than a forced single or a desperate search for a new sound, this single sees Up In Smoke embracing the moments of anger and anguish that were only hinted at from their previous releases. Pummeling, punctual percussion punches and kicks the listener while riffs and chugs alike slice deep into their skin—all to be salted by the band’s unique and practically perfect vocal style that combines gritty screams, low bellows and half-talked, half-shouted ramblings. At the end of the day, perhaps “Meth Mouth” earns its name because by the time this three-and-a-half minute long lesson in lurid, savage anger is done, the listener will be left covered in bruises, rips and sores—with little hair and even fewer teeth left to display what crumbs of sanity are left behind.



For Fans Of: Barrier, Sworn In, Left Behind, Kingmaker

By: Connor Welsh