Imagine, if you will, that instead of a boring old Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where cutting edge acts like Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and Dire Straits are welcomed as inductees after years of faithful service to perms, headbands and pursuing (and often marrying) a super-model or two, there was a Power Pop & Punk Hall of Fame.
Instead of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members Madonna and Michael Jackson, we could have Nick Lowe and The Rubinoos. Instead of the purveyors of M.O.R. dross like ‘Twistin’ by the Pool’ we could have the collective geniuses behind ‘We got the Beat’ and ‘What do I get? Instead of Neil Diamond, Steve Miller, John Mellencamp and Red Hot Chili Peppers we could have Elastica, Glasvegas or X-Ray Spex, The Rezillos or Weezer, Matthew Sweet or The Wondermints.
Well, brothers and sisters, I’m here today to tell you that the imaginary ranks of the Power Pop & Punk Hall of Fame could soon feel a swelling in its ranks. I’d like to tell you all about Potty Mouth. Hailing from (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members) the Gibb brothers beloved Massachusetts they’re a power pop tour de force in classic three-piece power pop style. By now you might have heard their new (second) album SNAFU - Ten (in perfect power pop 5-a-side formation) catchy chunks of urgent pop that worm their way into your very soul as only power pop can. Victoria, Ally and Abby are even aided and abetted by power pop royalty along the way, working with The Go-Go’s drummer Gina Schock to create the strident ‘Fencewalker.’
SNAFU is shot through with raw energy from the breakneck glories of ‘22’, which is pure, unadulterated Pauline Murray, to the charm and slow beauty of ‘Starry Eyes’. Ultimately though, from a strong field, it’s the grungy ‘Bottom Feeder’ that emerges as the album’s top track.
Prior to the album’s release we had the chance to interview the band and kicked off by asking about their much trumpeted disregard for the music industry:
Victoria: “I wouldn’t quite call it a disregard. Our perspective is realistic more than anything. We’ve worked with a lot of amazing people, but some less than stellar ones too. It’s like anything else in life. There will never be a shortage of people who think they know what’s best for you, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to decide who to listen to. This isn’t to say that you should never take anyone else’s advice. But if you want to make something happen, trust in yourself and in your instincts.”
Then we asked them more specifically about their new album, SNAFU:
Victoria: “As for SNAFU, we made the album we wanted to make, for ourselves and for our fans.”
Abby: “This album is huge!! The production is great and the songs are catchy as hell. Overall we’re really proud of how the record turned out because it shows how far we’ve come as a band.”
And we asked Abby what it was like to work with Gina Schock:
Abby: “It was so amazing! She's such a badass and fun person to hang out with. She knows what it's like to be in a punk band transitioning into the larger world of pop. It was really comfortable and reassuring to write in a room with someone who really gets where we're coming from.”
Abby continued by telling us who else was on their collaboration bucket-list:
Abby: “Definitely Annie Clark! She's a huge inspiration for me. It feels rare to see smart, powerful women who play rock music break into the commercial, pop market. Plus her music still has that weird, experimental edge to it. It would be a dream-come-true to write with her, or have her produce our next record.”
Abby went on to tell us about her Potty Mouth comic book:
Abby: “The idea came about because I recently got back into illustration. I posted some of my drawings on Instagram and Potty Mouth fans immediately started asking for a comic! So when we started to prep for our album release we thought it would be a good opportunity to include something personal with the record. It’s a fun way to give fans an inside look into our lives leading up to the album release.”
SNAFU is an album packed with well-written songs, performed with the kind of swagger and produced with the kind of edge that raises it well above the crowd. Now where’s that Hall of Fame nomination form?