Home Read Classic Album Review: Mouthwash | 1000 Dreams

Classic Album Review: Mouthwash | 1000 Dreams

The Londoners deliver a noisy blast of old-school punk straight from the ’70s.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Punk rock fans are always arguing about who’s punk and who isn’t. Well, here’s one band everybody should be able to agree on.

London’s Mouthwash are clearly as punk as they come — and not in some Blink-182, colour-co-ordinated-hairdos sense. These boys are straight-up old-school. Make that oldest-school. 1000 Dreams is an authentic echo of first-wave British punk straight from the valley of the shadow of the ’70s. The guitars snap and crackle with garageland grit. The lyrics seethe with anger and snotty rebellion. The foursome sound as if they’ve only been playing their instruments for a few weeks and the album sounds like it was recorded — produced is way too fancy a word — in someone’s basement. The hard-charging punk beats and chunky, chukka-chukka ska overtones give these 11 tracks an urgency and power on par with classic Clash cuts. Hell, singer Ben McCarthy’s adenoidal honk bears more than a passing resemblance at times to that of a fellow named Strummer. Sure, there are tighter, prettier, more talented punk acts out there. But then, isn’t being fast, loose and out of control the whole point of punk?