The Stomachmouths

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When the Stomachmouths began playing vintage American teen music in Stockholm 1983, they had no European predecessors. There had been a few new wave-era bands in Britain and Sweden that covered a Nuggets tune or two, but for those bands it was always part of something else. None of them had gone the whole nine yards and stripped away all alien elements from 1960s punk, like the Stomachmouths. The 1980s garage scene was created and has to be understood as a complete immersion in American pop culture from the 1950s and pre-hippie 1960s. It wasn’t about heavy fuzz guitars or tattoos, it wasn’t about wearing leopard skin pants and proclaiming a “revolution”. Everything like that just had to go. It wasn’t a retro scene either, because nothing like this had ever existed in Scandinavia. In this pure garage scene the Stomachmouths were undoubtedly kings. They were the best live band, they had been around the longest, they had the most developed sense for the right moves and attitude. Musically the band was top-notch, with no loose ends or weak links. Few would challenge the notion that the Stomachmouths spearheaded this scene because they took it so seriously, like a mission. – Patrick The Lama


Reviews of the Born Losers CD compilation:

Shindig Magazine/UK
Reading Patrick ‘The Lama’ Lundborg’s lengthy notes contextualises the early ’80s Swedish garage scene… and at that, the ’80s garage scene worldwide. This was a very different era than now. No one talked of ’60s garage, the NME didn’t use the term and any band that played loud guitar based music wasn’t pigeon-holed as a “garage band”. The crap form of extreme dance music using the “garage” moniker was also light years away. When The Stomachmouths hit the stage in their ’60s threads, armed with old gear and attitude-that-died-with-punk, people were genuinely shocked. In Sweden it was a new phenomenon. An antidote to New Romanticism and drum machines. History aside, The Stomachmouths really had something. Even if they were active in the ’60s they would have stood proudly alongside the greats! Stefan and crew loved the music and whether playing surf instros, Seeds-like psych, Dutch styled R&B or throat shredding garage-punk it all sounded genuine and as if the band could have invented the genres. Going against the grain they did. And their primal fuzzed out music is the perfect soundtrack for nonchalant teens obsessed by sex, cheap booze and partying — in any era! This kinda PUNK is timelss. Hearing new bands attempt this energy level and approaching the subject from a post-punk or Stooges’ angle makes me laugh… Swedish ’60s punk ended in ’87 with The Stomachmouths, seemed like it was reborn with The Strollers in the ’90s and then died again. The Hives gaining fame from a Billy Childish/Iggy Pop hybrid is nothing to do with the US ’60s punk The Stomachmouths played. The Hives are contrived! The Stomachmouths sound real! I just hope that what with Sweden being viewed as the epicentre of cool garage punk in 2003 that eager music buying, trend following “kids” will investigate this Stomachmouths CD and hear how it should really be done! This 25 track compilation drawing on singles, demos and album track from The Stomachmouths’ ’84-’87 career is a fitting testament to a band who even in the mid-80s didn’t fit in with other garage bands (Stefan always looked more like a real BFTG bespectacled nerd garage-teen than John Kay from Steppenwolf — which oddly became the BIG look with garage bands!) As far as ’80s teen-punk fuzzed out angst goes it just doesn’t get any better than this. – Jon ‘Mojo’ Mills – Shindig!, UK


The Earaches/USA
Oh, yeah, I remember these guys! In the ’80s, during the whole neo-garage revival that I was heavily into, Sweden produced some of the best, most frantic snot-encrusted heavies imaginable. These guys were one of those groups, who along with the Crimson Shadows, the Other Side, the Nomads and others made some amazingly cool music. The Stomach Mouths possessed an incredibly odd moniker and made really insane rock and roll. Between 1985-87, they released three LPs – one of which wasn’t even a legally sanctioned one on Voxx, culled from demos and live tapes the band had sent Greg Shaw, in hopes of scoring a deal – a couple of 7″ EPs and appeared on a bunch of compilation LPs like “Declaration Of Fuzz” and “Dimensions Of Sound.” This CD collects tracks from all those releases, plus a few rarities along the way. Boy, this is some wild stuff, even wilder than I remembered, and makes me wanna dig out my old LPs again. Stefan Kéry, the bespecked lead singer/guitarist possessed one of the snottiest, snarliest voices imaginable and along with loads of fuzz and Farfisa organ, this stuff just shreds! You won’t find any “deep” or “meaningful” songs here, just angry rants about evil chicks, monsters and surfing. “It’s about drinking, having sex, and having fun” says Stefan in one of the brief interview snippets between songs, and that about says it all. With songs like “Speed Freak,” “Eegah!,” “Valley Surf Stomp,” “Coming Back Alive,” “Something Weird” and “Wild Trip” you can’t go wrong! – Alan Wright The Earaches/Seattle, WA, USA


Misty Lane/Italy:
If you’ve been listening to garage since the eighties you probably already own most of this cool 80’s garage combo’s material. Nevertheless you might have been too young at that time so this is a good occasion to discover the weird sounds of The Stomachmouths, one of the leading act of the 80’s Swedish garage scene. The main thing about this “best of” CD is that, not only features cool pictures, accurate liner notes and some unreleased cut here and there, but it’s been assembled by Stefan Kéry, the singer of the Stomachmouths. Finally you’ll hear the songs as the band intended at first. snotty vocals, fuzz guitars and organ riffs that would stick into your head! Some of the best cuts off the band’s singles and LPs (all three line ups included, so fans of Jens Lindberg won’t be disappointed,eh eh)) have been selected along with bits from interviews. Dr Syn, I’m going Away, Eegah! Hold Me Now, Something Weird, Wild Trip..they’re all here! The book is cool and features some unseen pics, extracts from old articles and “vintage” artwork, the style you’d get back then reading zines. By the late 80’s the Stomachmouths were a legendary act, especially in Italy where they’ve played a few times. It was time a good comp would bring back some of their classic cuts and now it’s here. Don’t miss this and, if you have a chance, it’s really worth it! – Massimo del Pozzo – Misty Lane, Italy

The Barman/Australia
Barely half a minute into “Don’t Put Me Down”, the first song on this 23-tune disc, and Sweden’s Stomachmouths get where they want to go. That place is a sweaty teen club somewhere in the American Midwest, circa 1966. Insistent drums and bass are joined by a twangy Rickenbacker, then a sludgy fuzz. The vocals are pure snot. And it all sounds like it was recorded in a toilet. Flashback to the 1980s and the Swedish music scene was nothing like today. If it wasn’t imported, it wasn’t happening in a rock and roll sense. The Stomachmouths decided the clock needed to be turned back two decades and embraced the Nuggets bands with open arms. Unashamed revivalists they may have been, but it was their fervour and total commitment to the form that won a small but dedicated cadre of fans. Not many others in Scandinavia were on, or remotely near, this trip. Probably none other were chasing down authenticity to the degree of the Stomachmouths. The Stomachmouths were a band I’d heard more about than actually heard, so it’s a revelation to finally wrap the ears around them in a substantial way. Their recorded works did make it to stores outside their home country, courtesy of a Voxx release about which the band wasn’t entirely happy. This posthumous compilation corrects any mastering problems. It compiles the pick of their singles and three albums, tossing in some songs by Kéry’s later band, the Tonebenders, for good measure. As you’ll hear, there were two distinct phases of the Stomachmouths, the fuzz guitar era from 1986-87 and the latter period when the sound was fleshed out by the keyboards of Anna Nystrom. As the band developed, a more soulful, R & B influence is evident and Kéry clearly toned down the snarl quotient. But it’s all uniformly excellent. From the primal rave-up of “Cry” to the screaming surf sounds of “Valley Surf Stomp”, the displaced spite of “I Leave” and the nimble singalong crunch and drone of “Waiting”, it’s solidly rendered stuff. Plus they cover “Hold Me Now” by The Rumours, one of the most inspired ’60s non -hits you’ll ever hear. Truly. A couple of awkward interview snippets pad the disc out but it’s mostly just sharp ’60s punk from go to whoa. If you have a Voxx album (culled mostly from early demo’s) you’ll want this if only to put the Stomachmouths oeuvre into some sort of perspective. If not, and you’re into the Pebbles/Nuggets/Boulders/Back From the Grave stuff, you’ll figure “Born Losers” is a winner all the way. – The Barman/Australia

The Cave/Greece
Since The Stomachmouths slid ashore outta the dense cro-magnon rock‚n‚roll soup Teens of all ages the planet over, and probably beyond, have been smitten. Once kissed by these primordial fuzz drenched lips there‚s no turning back. No Cure. No How‰ is written on the back sleeve of the Stomachmouths debut LP, „Something Weird‰, back in 1986 by Lindsay Hutton and it‚s the truth! The Stomachmouths were one of the top bands of the garage punk „revival‰ era in the 80‚s and they were responsible for most of the 2nd wave garage bands in the late eighties and nineties. Simply, when I refer to snotty vocals, I always have in mind Stefan Kery‚s characteristic tone of voice in songs like „Cry‰ and „Something Weird‰. When I refer to fuzz I have in mind songs like „Don‚t Mess With My Mind‰! In other words, the Stomachmouths have been in the 80‚s what the Sonics been in the 60‚s for the garage genre. In this CD, that is released by Stefan‚s own label, you will be able to get 23 Stomachmouths songs remastered the way the Stomachmouths wanted to be released in the 80‚s but for several reasons they didn‚t make it happen. Actually, there are 21 Stomachmouths songs and two other ones that were recorded after the band split by two Stefan‚s bands, the Mongrels and the Tonebenders. The Mongrels „Too Much‰ also appeared in the „Weird Out!‰ compilation LP released by Misty Lane Records in 1993 and the Tonebenders „Root Beer‰ appeared as B-side in the „Help I‚m Lost‰ 45 released by Hit label in 1995. Whether you got all the Stomachmouths releases or not, this CD is a must for every garage punk fan as it includes all these remastered songs plus a live version of „Ode To Rhythm & Blues‰, two small interviews, full liner notes and story written by Patrick „The Lama‰ Lundborg and great photos! I chose the words of Marc Richter, owner of the fab Mystery Scene label and magazine, which were written in the 1st issue of his magazine back in 1986, to close my „Ode To Stomachmouths‰: „This is true Rock‚n‚Roll at its best! Probably you think I‚m exaggerating but I really don‚t. These weirdos must be born in a cave. (!) Grab a copy before it vanishes in your local import shop‰!!!
10 out of 10! – The Cave/Greece

Besides having one of the best band names ever (inspired by A Confederacy Of Dunces, strangely enough), back in the ’80s Sweden’s Stomachmouths were their nation’s undisputed masters of snotty sixties-style surf-psych garage, leading a revival that would last for most of that decade and predated the current Swedish garage mania (Hives et. al.) by almost twenty years! This compilation encompasses the Stomachmouths’ short sharp burst of creative, manic rock and roll that lasted a brief three and a half years. Raw and noisy, catchy and rocking, the Stomachmouths sound like the perfect mix of twangy, reverby Dick Dale riffs, the fuzzy and crunchy garage-y buzz of the Sonics, and the cranky, spazzy brattiness of the Electric Eeels or the Styrenes. Sounds like a pretty amazing collection and it is! This has been playing in the store non-stop since we got it in last week. Awesome, super detailed liner notes too! – Aquarius/USA

Ugly Things/USA
The Garage Revival – or what ever you want to call it – of the 1980s was a mixed bag of nuts.Actually, let’s be honest, with some exceptions most of it sucked pretty badly. There was a distinct lack of imagination in the movement, and a lot of the music just seemed like a weak dilution – or a bad pollution – of the genuine article. Before to long the already milky waters of’ 80s Garage were clouded shit-brown as the poseurs and opportunists dived in with their weak hybrids: New Wave bands gone Garage, Punk bands gone Garage, Psychobillybands gone Garage, Mod and Power Pop bands gone Garage, Heavy Metal bands gone Garage, Goths and even New Romantics gone Garage – they were easy to spot and they invaribly missed the point completely. It was the 80s after all. But it wasn’t all bad. In Sweden, for example, there were a handfull loosely connected bands – the Crimson Shadows, the Stomach Mouths, the Backdoor Men and the Creeps – that not only captured the raw spirit of the Garage sound but also executed it with a degree of style and panache, elements many other bands seemed oblivious to at the time. Active from 1984-87, the Stomach Mouths, with their crazed interpretation of the American ’60s teen garage sound, were probably the wildest of this bunch. Fronted by lead screamer/guitarist Stefan Kery, they generated plenty of noise both onstage and in the studio, leaving behind a pile of vinyl releases, now difficult or near impossible to find. Compiled by Kery and released on his Subliminal Sounds label, Born Losers gathers the best of the Stomach Mouths output, along with live and unreleased tracks by the Mongrels and the Tonebenders. It’s a mad funfair ride, drenched in screams, sneers, fuzz, Farfisas and cheap reverb. And while every move and chord change is derivative of a thousand ’60s garage tracks, it really sounds nothing like the 60s at all, but rather some mutant bacterial strain of the ’60s Garage virus running unchecked and rampant. That’s really the heart of the Stomach Mouths appeal: rampant, unchecked, un-self-conscious teenage Garage band fun. /Mike Stax/Ugly Things

Esgibt ja bekanntlich solche und solche. Da wären zum einen die eingeschworenen Sixties Fanatiker, die jeden Sampler kaufen, sei er noch so schlecht und so immer wieder neue “Perlen” für sich entdecken. Diese Leute werden langweilige “best of..” Zusammenstellungen von den aber wirklich langweiligstenBands dieser Dekade immer einem Kauf einer Veröffentlichung einer aktuellenBand vorziehen. Dann sind da aber noch diejenigen, die gerade den Garage Sound für sich entdeckt haben und wirklich denken die WHITE STRIPES und die HIVES wären die Galionsfiguren dieser Stilrichtung und fühlen sich nun besonders trendy. Und dann sind da die STOMACHMOUTHS! Eigentlich muss ich ja sagen “waren”, denn diese schwedische Band gibt es seit fast 15 Jahren nicht mehr,doch ihre musikalische Hinterlassenschaft in Form von 23 auf einen runden Silberling gebrannten Songs, erschienen auf des Sängers eigenem Label Subliminal Sounds, wirkt im Vergleich zu den meisten Original Sixties Garage Kompilationen, wie auch den Ergüssen derWeißgestreiften und anderer neuer artverwandter Bands, wie die 10 Gebote desgroßen FUZZ. Was die RAMONES für den Punk und die SONICS für den Sixties Rock´n´Roll waren und immer noch sind, das sind die STOMACHMOUTHS für denGarage Sound. Eine Mörder Kapelle, die in den Achtzigern maßgeblich an derWiedergeburt des Fuzz-Punk beteiligt war. Laut, ursprünglich und voller Energiespielten sie eine ganze Reihe vom Meilensteinen ihres Genres ein. Getragen von den nasalen Sangeskünsten Stefan Kerys, packte das Quartett ein ums andereMal die Keulen aus und bearbeitete den erstaunten Hörer mit gnadenlosen Fuzz-Attaken und Farfisa Orgel Salven. Nennt es Beat, Punkoder R´n´B, in jedem Fall ist es dieser Band gelungen den Geist des traditionellen Rock´n´Rolls in unsere Tage zu retten und das können nunwirklich nur die wenigsten Bands von sich behaupten. PrimitiveGarage-Punk at it´s best! Die spielen die Großen ihrer Zunft locker an die Wand. Besser geht´snicht! (10 out of 10) – RitchieApple/Germany