Chicago rock band, Rotten Mouth headlined Cobra Lounge on Friday, April 5. The dark, biker-esque bar on the west side features up and coming, yet underground, rock acts.
Rotten Mouth, a band of buddies from Woodstock, Illinois played the show to celebrate the release of their debut album, The Moonman which came out Friday.
While Rotten Mouth have previously stuck to a heavy hard-rock sound, The Moonman sheds some of that weight, shifting towards an explorative instrumental style. They’ve always been a jam band, but on the new record, Rotten Mouth’s improvisational chops really come out to play. The Moonman is a concept album that shows how far the band has come in perfecting their alt-rock sound.
When Rotten Mouth take the stage, it’s like when your friends finally show up to the party where you’ve been waiting. The band grabs their instruments and gets into position while frontman Clay Mutert, smiling from behind his long curtains of hair, greets the crowd. Mutert calls out to the audience, excited to report that the crowd is made of “all his friends.” Whether you know Mutert and the band or not, you feel like you really are all friends as you watch them play.
Rotten Mouth open things up with “Moonman,” the first track off the new album. Everyone, especially those in the front, in their “Rotten Mouth” tee shirts, jeans, and converse or vans, (all black) cheers wildly. I’m surprised at the amount of passion from the crowd. For a relatively small band, their support is impressive. The photographer I’m with is only one of three or four others, all vying for space in the front row, trying to get the best shots.
Rotten Mouth play several songs from The Moonman. The crowd headbangs and bobs along gleefully. Some of the best parts of the show come when the guys invite guests to play with them on stage. Bella Mutert, Clay’s sister, joins them for a fun cover of “Clint Eastwood” by Gorillaz. She raps the verses like a pro. Hanging out at WLUW, Loyola University’s radio station, Mutert and guitarist Josh Guelzow told me how much they love playing fun covers like this one during their shows.
Rotten Mouth’s performance is polished. They’ve been looking forward to this show for weeks, excited to finally release the new album. Guelzow’s guitar solos elevate each song to new heights, while the drums and bass build a strong wall of support. It’s easy to see why their fan base is so enthusiastic about the music.
If you want to go see a fun band with a friendly, supportive crowd, a Rotten Mouth ticket should definitely be on your summer wish list.
Opening acts Friday night were St. Marlboro, Saltwater Tap, and Revolt Coda. All three bands helped get the crowd hyped up with their unique styles and original songs. Revolt Coda, an alt-rock 4-piece, brought an infectious energy to the Cobra Lounge. What makes this band special to me is their knack for building each of their songs up into a crescendo of keys, electric guitar, and bass. Revolt Coda combines funk, rock, and even a bit of reggae for a truly awesome performance.