Open Mouth - Import / Export

Well fuck me if this isn’t the best surprise I’ve had since I found out that Paris Hilton was due a stretch in lesbo chokey. Oh the wanks I’ve had (!)

Seymour Patrick (aka Open Mouth) is pained. Fed up with futility he is gently pen-knifing his name into the desks of the ignorant and unholy; this album is the first step towards his one man revolution.

Having served his time at the helm of Peel favourites Miss Black America, he is now ready to put the world to rights.

I’m loath to say “protest album” but I have to; that’s exactly what Import/Export is. I’ve been listening to Don McLean’s American Pie a fair bit recently and some Randy Newman too. Don’t get me wrong, Seymour has a long way to go before he can match something like 'The Grave' or 'Political Science' but glimpses of glittering vitriol seen in the masters are smattered all over his record.

I don’t know if this is going to break his heart further but the first mental comparison I made was “This sounds a bit like Dashboard Confessional but not gay”. That said; it doesn’t stay that way for too long. Our man is an accomplished guitarist and he isn’t afraid to show off any. There are shining delays and reverb bringing an understated extra something to what is essentially a collection of folk songs. Patrick is very comfortable with his instrument. Skilled finger-picking, slick arpeggio, Polly Harvey-esque noodlings and e-bow are all here in abundance. You certainly get your moneys worth... Which brings me smoothly to another wonderful touch; part of the funds raised from sales of this record go to WarChild . Commendation from me Sir.

Lyrically, there are touches of sarcastic brilliance tattooed on the flesh of Import/Export. Lines like “Cynical? Yes but you made me so” and “I wanna see Jesus drop you in the flames” are just a couple of the lexical formulations that I have warmed to. They’re made even more tangible by their delivery; for one so delicate and geek-chic looking, Patrick has a distinct ability to emote with his strained and varied vocal. To be honest, when we exchanged pleasantries, I wouldn’t have guessed he had it in him.

Finally, attention has to be drawn to the cover art. A dark and brooding helicopter growls off the paper. I will apologise in advance for my anorakishness (and any factual errors I may make) but the whirlybird in question is, I believe, a 1972 US Army Sikorsky UH-60, also known as the Black Hawk (it’s a poor image and I could be wrong; it may be the HH-60G Pave Hawk so don’t bother writing in to complain; I don’t give a shit). The reason I limped through that chopper-nerd rigmarole was to get me to this... The helicopter in question was for the most part used for search and rescue missions during the Vietnam War but was also utilised for MEDEVAC operations, relief and aid work. So, what I’m ham-fistedly trying to say is that Open Mouth is a wailing, glooming, deathly mechanical construct capable of delivering apocalyptic destruction but also able to save lost souls and free the oppressed and demoralised.

Fucking hell. It comes to something when you have to explain your metaphors. Was it worth it? Probably not but I don’t care, I’m knackered. Let’s just say that Import/Export is the perfect album for emo-lefties (not unlike myself), anyone with a political conscience or basically, anyone who wants to hear music that is challenging and confrontational.

That’s me done. I’m starting to drift off... Hey bitch, ain’t you Paris Hilton?... Um, yeah... C’mere... Why?... Me and the ladies got sumthin’ for yuh... what?! No! What’s the coat hanger for? Please no...!... Lie still skank. Take it like a man...

by Ian Simpson, The Blue Light District

Buy short term Import / Export here