Open Mouth
Studio 3, Bury St Edmunds

Studio 3 is an odd little venue. The sound is nice enough considering its size, but the layout is rather strange. Sitting left of the American café-style retro seating is a small stage, while the large bar behind both is the most overt feature of the whole room. Even odder is the fact that I'm not even reviewing the main acts of the night (Cats Against The Bomb, The Resistance), instead lending my writing to the support act Open Mouth - the solo venture from Miss Black America vocalist and guitarist Seymour Glass.

Those who admired Miss Black America only for their punk-rock quotient should meet an Open Mouth gig with some disdain - gone is the teenage angst, sense of rebellion and zealous rock gusto. Instead, the remnants of what made Miss Black America special are re-moulded into the framework of Open Mouth's singer-songwriter acoustic backdrop. Inspired by female songstresses such as Carina Round and Tori Amos, Open Mouth is more than just a necessary stopgap while Miss Black America take time out; in fact, even at this early stage, it's safe to say that the quality of song writing easily exceeds anything Seymour Glass has done previous to this.

Open Mouth, lyrically, deals with despondence and depravity - but in the face of adversity comes out with something honestly beatific. Seymour has two albums' worth of songs in his repertoire, but being a support act, he's only able to showcase half-a-dozen. One of the most promising tracks comes in the form of 'Liberty Belle' - a song which flirts with its attractive acoustic disposition - while another's a cover of Shocking Blue's (and later Nirvana's) 'Love Buzz'; utilising a furious vocal attack and heavy use of the delay pedal, Seymour manages to pull off a cover far superior to its more-famous arrangements. In a live environment, the songs fall foul to technical problems, but, of course, every note is picked back up as if never interrupted.

The acoustic-tinged prowess of Open Mouth will regard Seymour's previous works with Miss Black America as a subsidiary in terms of song writing. He may well be a support act at the moment, but if this gig and the demo sent out is any gauge of the quality of his future output, then Open Mouth deserves to be big. I would say he's bringing sexy back, but apparently some bloke called Justin got there before him. I'll just stick to saying that Seymour Glass is pretty-hot-right-now, musically.

Ben Yates, Drowned in Sound, 23.11.06

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