Review Summary: An over-looked band rewards their loyal fanbase.
There are many names - bands, labels, zines, promoters, etc. - that instantly come to mind when one brings up the 90's hardcore scene. Groups like Lifetime, Earth Crisis, Unbroken, Integrity, Quicksand, 108, Strife, etc. and record labels like New Age, Revelation, Edison, Victory, and Equal Vision all spring to mind. Now, nearly twenty years after the fact, we have a fitting tribute to one of those artists that is synonymous with 90's hardcore, Mouthpiece.
Can't Kill What's Inside: The Complete Discography
is exactly as the name suggests, a complete collection of all recordings that Mouthpiece ever released, plus some additional extras. You get the band's three releases on New Age, their compilation appearances, three previously unreleased songs performed live, an entire performance at CBGB's, and the music video for Cinder
- I didn't realize hardcore band's made videos back then.
While I have my copy of Face Tomorrow
on vinyl, I am definitely missing out on the bulk of this band's recordings. So to have it all in one neat package, re-mixed and re-mastered as well, is a super huge bonus. This discography works from the band's last recorded song, To the Side
, and works it way back to their first compilation appearance with Hold Back
. It's interesting to see where the band ended up and listen as we travel band in time, each release at a time.
is a classic by youth-crew hardcore standards: searing hardcore and melodic punk fused together with vocalist Tim McMahon's stellar lyrics. What Was Said
is equally as memorable; lines like “Sincerity running thin / What it means to me / It never meant to them” are just as relevant today as they were when they were originally penned. The self-titled EP provides a great reference point for where the band came from and how the conviction of the lyrics - a lot of them straightedge centered - are just as strong at the beginning.
The compilation tracks are nice glimpses for the small shifts in style that occurred between records. Meanwhile the three live cuts are fitting in comparison to the band's last recorded material, though they are quite rough sounding. They're bass-heavy and filled with great sing-along parts perfect for pile-ons; the last song is an instrumental and a bit out of character. Though not listed, there is a clip from an interview from when the band was apparently called Control, or so I can gather - I'm not that versed in the band's early history (all the members appear to be in their teens at this time). The live set at CBGB's is again a nice collector's piece.
Also documented throughout the layout - which is impeccable - is a full listing of the band's entire show performances, lyrics, live images, and a short intro from McMahon. It's a great insight for avid 90's hardcore superfans.
Can't Kill What's Inside
is a great collection from the standpoint of a 90's hardcore fan and for anyone previously unaware looking to discover an essential artist from the decade that reinvented hardcore. And if you're looking to continue to legacy you can still follow some members in the group Triple Threat.