Mutha’s Day Out
My Soul Is Wet (Chrysalis)
by Scott Hefflon
The story screams like a tabloid headline: “Young rock/rap band from rural Arkansas gets signed to major record company after only six months together!”
There would be photos of farmlands, tractors, and barns as well as statistics of town population and phrases like “Country music and evangelical christianity are the dominant forces.” The story would read like a rock ‘n’ roll wet dream or synopsis of Footloose II with soundtrack available on CD or cassette. It seems fate felt fickle the fine day Mutha’s Day Out packed up and shopped around Memphis for a studio that would record a demo for $200. The buzz began, they showcased a musicfest that same week and got signed by a Chrysalis/ERG A&R rep. ASAP (this biz loves abbr.). So now we’ve got their debut My Soul is Wet climbing the charts and running continuous loop in my tape deck.
For a band with the average age of 17, they are intense lyrically and technically competent and pull off a rich, full, and diverse sound. They are not to be written off as child prodigy marketing ploy. They have mature and well-phrased reactions to the oppressions of religious zealots, and overall inflexibility of PC behavior in Smalltown, USA. Their daily struggle for self definition would definitely account for their aggression and versatility. They transition from gritty, “heavy alternative” rock to sneering, punky thrash to achy, longing ballad intro into chugging metal to humorous and humongous rap sessions with fluid vitality and constant energy. There are too many great songs to pick highlights, but you’ve got almost 24″ of foldout (WOW!) with all the lyrics, and lots of cool photos to look at while making your decision.