LISTEN: Mouth Tooth – ‘Red Belly Roadhouse Blues’

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I came across this curio by Melbourne band Mouth Tooth while doing some research on Smile. Both bands consist of former members of the sprawling Red Berry Plum and share a guitarist in Max Turner. Mouth Tooth is definitely the weirder of the two projects, which is why you’ve probably heard a bit less about them.

‘Red Belly Roadhouse Blues’ is off the duo’s Group Therapy EP. There’s something very unsettling, if undeniably pretty, about this tune; the effect’s kind of like one of Bill Henson’s nocturnal vignettes. An eerie western number, ‘Roadhouse Blues’ is led by Rhys Mitchell’s creepy falsetto, with a slide guitar weeping quietly in the background. Mouth Tooth describe their style as ‘psychedelic ward’, and the lyrics here seem like an exercise in Freudian free association. ‘Heaven is a roadhouse / and you are the waitress,’ Mitchell croons, ‘I want to dissolve you into my coffee’. The video has a grainy, VHS ambiance. Mitchell and Turner’s disembodied heads float over scenes that could have been taken from Twin Peaks, smiling as they deliver lines like ‘I want to stir you through the darkness / Have you with my breakfast / Girl, you make my heart race…’. Check it out below.


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