I’m not quite sure what to say about this record. I’ve written and rewritten this review a few times already. I just can’t find the right tone. But, whatever.
Museum Mouth have made a great record. My first instinct would be to get all hyped up and yell about how great it is. I’m not sure that would really be appropriate. All told, Alex I Am Nothing is a deceivingly mature record. It’s also pretty fucking heavy. I can’t say for sure, but it is a record that feels more rooted in fact than fiction. Even if it’s not, and it’s just a made up story, there is still a level of honesty that shines through from start to finish.
I said “deceivingly mature” up there because of it’s overall sound. It would be very easy to mistake this as just another punk rock record. Karl Kuehn’s voice is nasally and snotty in some places, forceful in others. The overall tone of the music is lo-fi indie/punk. The songs are catchy as hell, and don’t sound as serious as they really are. It’s easy to miss it. But, in any event, Museum Mouth continue to flex their muscle when it comes to catchy, lo-fi indie/punk. Alex I Am Nothing tracks in a very logical progression from 2012’s Sexy But Not Happy. There are touches of garage rock, indie, punk, and 90s alternative throughout.
But, as far as talking points go, let’s hit the main one. This is a concept record. As such, I want to talk about this record as a whole. Hopefully I can do it without being overly reductive. Alex I Am Nothing is a record about unrequited love and obsession. Specifically through the lens of a gay man who has feelings for a not gay man. It starts with love (well, lust) at first sight. It ends with acceptance, albeit a sometimes bitter version of it. Everything tracks in a realistic, logical way. You can’t help but see yourself in the story. You can’t help but feel bad about what an absolutely shitty situation it is. Museum Mouth has accomplished a tremendous thing. They made a record that tackles an emotionally fucked up topic, and they made it accessible.
Now that I got the review out of the way, I can get all hyped up about this record and yell about how great it is. To wit, every other record coming out this year is on notice. This record is unfuckwithable, and the bar has been set pretty fucking high.