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Cottonmouth – Altered Mind Award winner

Altered Mind
by Kenn Staub at 06 December 2021, 7:20 AM

COTTONMOUTH have been crafting their sound since forming in 2017; the lads from Nottingham (UK) focused on providing soaring leads, dynamic vocals, and thundering rhythms. The band’s forte, which they demonstrate on their EP “Altered Mind” (released October 9, 20201), is writing catchy, solid hard rock songs which are musically predicated on riffs that pack a punch. “Destroyer,” issued as a single in 2019, leads off the EP. A big riff opens the track and then the song grooves right along, the rhythm section coming at the listener with dense, staccato-like bursts of melody. Liam Gallaher’s solid bass leads into the midportion of the number, whose highlight is Dale Preston’s wailing, deliberate guitar solo.

Next up is “Hollow,” which dropped in 2020. The song is structurally more complex than the opener, but nonetheless features a solid, melodic hook that had me tapping my foot. Preston displays more pyrotechnics on this solo than the one unleashed on “Destroyer.” “Altered Mind” saw the light of day as a single this past July, making it the newest of all the compositions appearing on the EP. Like the tracks which come before “Altered Mind” has a big opening. This structurally complex song has a great rhythm line underneath the solo guitar.

Made Of Stone,” released in 2020, is the most obvious example of “classic” metal on the EP. The track has a pensive, anguished SABBATHy sensibility and the guitar solo is somewhat dreamy. In my opinion COTTONMOUTH save the best for last with “Skin And Bone,” first delivered in 2019. Though this up tempo rocker has a lighter feel, the rhythm section, buoyed by Gallaher and Daniel Baldock on drums, create a big sound. This one had me saying, “more please.” There is much to be impressed with on this COTTONMOUTH “sampler.” The sound is huge, the rhythms catchy, and the guitar solos proficiently congruent with the melody. And lest I forget, Jack Adkin is a damn fine singer, his phrasing clear and vocals easily comprehensible.

COTTONMOUTH have a debut album “on the horizon.” If this EP is any indication, that album should be a treat.

Musicianship: 10
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Destroyer
2. Hollow
3. Altered Mind
4. Made Of Stone
5. Skin And Bone
Jack Adkin – Guitar & Vocals
Dale Preston – Lead Guitar
Liam Gallaher – Bass Guitar
Daniel Baldock – Drums  
Record Label: Forge AMP


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Edited 03 December 2022

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