Every so often I stumble upon a relatively unknown band by accident and they turn out to be awesome. Such is the case with My Mouth Is The Speaker (MMITS), a pop-punk/heavy indie rock band from Akron, Ohio that I hate to even attempt to categorize. Usually when I have trouble categorizing a band, it’s a good thing. It means their sound is unique and interesting enough to defy labels, and I don’t really prefer labels.
I forget exactly how I heard about MMITS, but I was instantly intrigued and had to listen to them immediately because their name is a lyric from the song this website is named after. Upon hearing the first few lines of “Your New Apartment,” the first song on their new EP “In Focus,” my first reaction was “wow, these guys remind me so much of Hot Rod Circuit.” And that’s a high form of praise coming from me; I was a huge HRC fan in high school and college. They were one of my favorite bands and I saw several of their shows. They were also one of the only bands I got to actually meet and hang out with for a bit after a show.
Aside from feeling overcome by a huge wave of nostalgia for HRC and other late 90s/early ’00s emo/pop-punk bands like Piebald, The Movielife, and Midtown, I was blown away by the way MMITS seem to revive aspects of that signature sound that defined my teens and early 20s in a way that’s completely fresh and unique. There are lots of newer bands out there whose sound is clearly influenced by that “old school” emo/pop-punk sound who just don’t stand out to me. They get lost in a sea of bands that sound too similar or generic. MMITS are completely different. While I hear hints of the music I loved in high school in their songs, I also hear a style of indie rock/pop-punk marked by songs that are melodic and tightly crafted and also a little raw and gritty. It’s a style of rock I wish I heard more often, but maybe the fact that I seldom find bands that have this quality and caliber of sound means that MMITS are rare breed.
If I were to try to describe their sound in a way that would sell their music to potential new listeners, I’d offer the same description I gave to a friend today: “If Hot Rod Circuit and Balance and Composure had a love child, it might sound a little like My Mouth Is The Speaker.” I think that kinda says it…
You can find their new EP (as well as their 2012 EP and 2010 album) on bandcamp