Review Summary: Not Guttermouth's best album, but still a solid debut and an early look at their notable sound.
Singer Mark Adkins played in a La Habra punk band called Republic in the 1980s, along with guitarist Scott Sheldon. When the band broke up, the 2 friends played in numerous side projects. both of them met James Nunn and started a band with him known as Critical noise. then drummer Tim Baulch suggested the name Guttermouth, but the band dissolved. Eventually Adkins, Sheldon, Nunn, Eric "Derek" Davis and Clint "Cliff" Weinrich formed a new band, using the name Guttermouth.
Guttermouth gained notoriety for their outrageously "offensive" lyrics and stage performances as far back as the early 90's. Originally formed back in 1989, Guttermouth became a popular figure in the 90's punk revivalist movement. In 1991, they released the Full Length LP on Dr. Strange Records. After signing to Dexter Holland's (of the Offspring) new record label Nitro Records in 1994, the band released their second album and their popularity boomed. The Full Length LP was re-released in 1996 as The Album formerly Known as a full Length LP. The newly formed title is a mockery of the artist Prince wanting to be called "The artist formerly known as Prince." This is typical Guttermouth making fun of the other bands and musicians.
Guttermouth plays fast paced punk rock that is very abrasive, almost verging on hardcore. The vocals by Mark Adkins are way more harsh and raspy than later releases by the band, and his trademark poppy sounding voice is shown scarcely throughout the album. Instrumentally, the guitars and bass play fast power chord riffs with a few solos thrown in. The drummer is simply playing very fast to very fast music.
Guttermouth really doesn't seem impressive when I describe them as that, but Guttermouth represents punk in both their musical style and (arguably) their messages of having a good time. The Album Formerly Known as a Full Length LP is simple, fast paced punk rock with silly lyrics meant to shock or humor the listener.
"Race Track" is the first song on the album, and it is just Guttermouth's signature sound of lightning quick punk rock. Some notable tracks include the legendary "Bruce Lee vs the Kiss Army", which is not only catchy, but has clever lyrics about Bruce Lee fighting...well...Kiss. It sounds like that is a song that a comedy rock group like Tenacious D would write, or some middle schooler, but no. This is Adkins at his finest.
"1, 2, 3...Slam!" is a good number with funny lyrics about being half black. "Chicken Box", "Ghost" and "I'm Punk" are also memorable numbers.
Guttermouth doesn't always do fast paced punk songs. Some songs are mid tempo, and also involve Adkins using entertaining vocal effects. "No More" has Adkins sounding like some B-52's style singer. "Mr. Barbeque" has Adkins trademark, high pitched speaking vocals. "Reggae Man" is an out of place reggae song, where the band mocks the genre. "Marco Polo" is a 17 second hardcore punk song, that sounds like something D.R.I. would write.
The album Formerly Known as a Full Length LP is good opening to Guttermouth's career. It has some catchy punk songs and funny lyrics. It may not be their best effort, but it is still a good record to listen to if you like this band or punk in general.