Devotees of mid-'90s indie/post-hardcore/CMJ-approved alt-rock have been feeling the love the past few years, with successful cash-grab one-offs and reunions tours from My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, the Pixies, the Jesus Lizard and, most recently, Archers of Loaf (!) among others, welcomed with open arms (and wallets) by those of us still pining for the good ol' days of Matt Pinfield and 120 Minutes ("from their debut album Silver Sweepstakes, here's Knapsack with 'Cellophane' "). If early-era Pumpkins and Hum remain on your playlist, we suggest looking up local trio Mouth of Flowers. Check out the band's first three (shoegazer-friendly) tracks streaming right now at mouthofflowers.bandcamp.com.
BRAVE TRIO Murphy, Amaral, and Gaccione.
When we last heard from former Reggie & the Full Effect guitarist Rich Gaccione, he was brushing the skins for local indie folk act the Devil My Pocket, while punk-hardcore vet Sean Murphy spent the '00s touring the globe and shredding his voice with Verse, and Alyssa Amaral paired with both as a drummer during their days with What Feeds the Fire. In an effort to keep things interesting, the three opted to play musical chairs.
"When we got together for the first time back in April , we wanted to try something new and exciting without any expectations or genre keeping us pinned down to a specific sound," Gaccione told me during a recent chat. "So we decided to test our musical abilities and each of us undertook an instrument we hadn't really played in a band before."
Amaral plays bass, Murphy is the lead singer and sole guitarist, and lumbering giant Gaccione, a New York native who spent his teen years within the historically-fertile Long Island hardcore scene, now bashes the kit for Mouth of Flowers.
"It was an amazing process to write songs this way," Gaccione said, visibly stoked about the possibilities. "The three of us love loud, experimental rock music like Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine, and this was our opportunity to create our version of that sound from the ground up."
The three songs posted — "Emma," "Ocean Town," and "The Providence Brave" — will be released as a seven-inch in a few weeks via Willowtree Records. MOF have since written two new tracks, polishing an eight-minute song that Gaccione refereed to as "a sonic roller coaster" as well as "Samesies," which they recently debuted at a show at the 201. Gaccione comically shattered every last stick during the 30-minute set (Amaral noodled with Nirvana's "Breed" during one pause in the action). With only a handful of gigs under their belts, Mouth of Flowers played to a packed house on New Year's Eve at Philly's Theatre of Living Arts, opening for Reggie & the Full Effect (the entire set is posted on YouTube).
"Reggie comes calling on me every now and again and I'll always make time for those guys, but right now Mouth Of Flowers is my main priority," Gaccione said.
Hearing Murphy sing a line such as "She is the sun that clears every storm" and the chorus "Everybody loves you" on "Emma," it's hard not to think of Billy Corgan; ironically, "The Providence Brave" was originally titled "Space Boy" before the band recalled a Pumpkins song of the same name ("Yeah, I guess we kinda spaced out there for a minute," Gaccione said, laughing). Hum frontman Matt Talbot comes to mind foremost, though; not coincidentally, MOF is tucking away for a trip to Illinois and record their full-length debut at Talbot's Great Western Record Recorders studio.