Say My Namenow Say It Again
'This is the kind of CD you wait for as a reviewer; a secret, top-shelf bottle you might get the chance to crack first before it spreads around the party. There's something instantly but not specifically familiar about Million Dollar Mouth which grabs your ear and keeps it through the course of the disc. Cool drips off these warm-toned, lazy tunes like a whiskey waterfall into a bong basin. These guys sound like they're stylistically kicking the crap out of The Strokes while smoking Stone Temple Pilots' cigarettes and listening to the Marvelous 3. Whether or not Million Dollar Mouth is trendy (fast-rising L.A band...), there's an earnest cohesion to the music that defies attempted-hipster posturing. In his upper register, singer Mike Biscotti draws a little from crooner Jeff Buckley without defiling either Buckley's legacy or corrupting his own individuality. The lyrics are lightly self-effacing, Biscotti paints familiar emotions and situations without abusing cliché or waxing too clever. His cask-aged vocal depth and ease is instantly contagious over the Butch Walker-inspired poppy rock arrangements. The musicians don't push too hard or play too much, everyone seems to fit his role in a sort of equality which steadily promotes the songs over any one player. These guys have real potential.' Dan Bernal, Lollipop Magazine Every musician aspires to do things their own way, but very few truly have it in their DNA. The boys in Million Dollar Mouth, on the other hand, have been blessed with the right instincts. Equal parts stoner rock, Brit-pop, punk, and indie, with a pinch of funk thrown in for good measure, MDM gives full vent to every musical impulse in their collective soul, resulting in what Lollipop Magazine calls "stylistically kicking the crap out of The Strokes, while smoking Stone Temple Pilots' cigarettes and listening to Marvelous 3." With their irreverent debut album on Atonal Records (the band's own label) Say My Name...Now Say It Again, the LA-based quartet makes eclecticism and independent thinking respectable and cool again. Lead singer Mike Biscotti was dealing with some personal problems when he wrote the lyrics and music for "Say My Name...". "This project was like a cleansing experience," Mike says. "It was a way of maintaining my sanity." That somebody was exorcizing his personal demons becomes quite apparent while listening to "Say My Name..." In fact, MDM didn't start out as a band; it began as Mike's spontaneous, cathartic reaction to move away from the latest in a string of dysfunctional, dead-end projects. "Ironically, this was the first time I was able to write without any expectations," adds Mike. "I wasn't thinking about choices and wasn't constantly trying to work out musical compromises - which is probably why it worked." The album kicks off with "Lush", a deceptively upbeat rocker with an instantly memorable chorus, picks through the shards of a shattered relationship. "Stupid Like Me" is a sardonic ode to the closed-mindedness behind the hypocrisy of today's intellectual elite. "Pretty" redefines the New Cool, blending mellowness and aggression without missing a beat. And "Don't Disappear", according to Performer Magazine, "is reason enough alone to grab this album for your collection." With a cocky name like Million Dollar Mouth and an even cockier album title the band had no choice but to do it right the first time around. This all-or-nothing approach was based on the personalities of the band members and on confidence gained from the quick recognition of early shows and how fast their first limited-edition EP sold out. One year after their inception, MDM came out of the studio with their first full-length album. It was the perfect excuse for what the band had been itching to do: tour relentlessly. They spent the summer of '05 playing all over Southern California, across the Southwest, up along the West Coast, and even at Cincinnati's Midpoint Music Festival. "Say My Name..." shows off MDM's maturity as both songwriters and musicians, as they seemingly effortlessly find just the right balance between raw and refined, impulsive and sensible, aggressive and laid-back, clear-cut and complex, intelligent and confrontational - all without ever losing that wry smirk. MDM are known for their barely controlled live shows and their infectious energy. "Say My Name..." channels that energy while taking the music to new heights. Currently putting the finishing touches on their follow-up effort Villains!!! (Tentatively scheduled for an July' 07 release), MDM is determined to prove that they are not simply, as Kat Corbet (KROQ DJ) puts it, "a band with impeccable taste and style", but are here to stay, always bringing something refreshingly new to the music table. In the meantime, fans can check out various MDM tracks in the upcoming movies "Dimples" and "Poker Bustouts."