RSS Feed

Mouthful Of Love

XL Recordings (2004)
Rating: 9.5/10

I first saw Young Heart Attack in the London sweatbox otherwise known as the Camden Underworld and I expected these Texans to be the next big thing. Sadly, they weren’t, and after two brilliant albums they dissolved, but their legacy remains.

Young Heart Attack play steaming rock ’n’ roll on Mouthful Of Love, yet unlike so many other bands, they have a twin vocal attack. The first and foremost screech of hell emerges from the lips of guitarist Chris Hodge, but it’s when he’s backed by sultry sidekick Jennifer Stephens that the band take on a whole new formidable form.

As the title track races into the ears, one is met by a seething guitar attack, courtesy of Chris ‘Frenchie’ Smith, and then the warrior vocals of Hodge, who isn’t interested in subtlety, as his screams torture the ears before being accompanied by Stephens’ and her old school Vince Neil-esque whine.

A lot of cool live bands often fail to produce the blood, sweat and tears on their albums, but Young Heart Attack are an exception. Their rawk ’n’ roll is so in your face that one can’t help but boogie. Sure, there’s nothing original about this style of late 70s / early 80s sounding rock, but on this occasion it’s white hot, fist pumping, denim-clad and devilish, with a danceable edge. Just check out the groove of ‘Starlite’, the furious gallop of ‘El Camino’ and the two mini-classics ‘Tommy Shots’ and ‘Misty Rowe’, and the clattering cover of MC5’s ‘Over And Over’, with its garage growl… immense!

Although the band’s follow-up record, Rock And Awe (2008), went for a slightly more subtle approach, Mouthful Of Love remains a smoking debut and enabled the band to support major league acts such as Motörhead. But once again, I’m left scratching my head and wondering why Young Heart Attack didn’t sell thousands. I’d give anything to see these guys, and especially Jennifer Stephens, live again!

Neil Arnold

<< Back to Album & EP Reviews