Denton's The River Mouth Finds Its Voice

In the last year, The River Mouth has refined its sound to such a degree that even the experimental psychedelic rock outfit's fans, friends or family would be forgiven for not recognizing the band by sound alone. Leaving the jazzier stuff behind, The River Mouth has moved into a deeper, darker side of psychedelic rock. But the dirtier sound isn't the biggest noticeable difference in the band's performance. Rather, it's the singing.

Formed in the fall of '08, The River Mouth started writing songs and playing instrumental sets while auditioning vocalists. The band tried out somewhere between three and five vocalists, depending on which of the band members you ask—which only goes to show that these potential vocalists didn't make much of an impression. No offense to the guys who auditioned; it's just that, after performing and writing songs together for nearly a year, the trio may have grown too tight to shoehorn in another member.

Turns out that may have been a blessing in disguise, because it wasn't long after drummer Anthony Manganaro came to one of the band's practices with some lyrics that he and bassist Miles Carrington stepped up to the mic and started singing. And, since October, the band's added vocals to its live set. (To date, guitarist Clint Rowan is still just playing guitar.)

Bassist/vocalist Carrington says he was relieved when the band "kinda" gave up the search.

"The external creative input could've been good," he says. "But it started looking disastrous."

According to the band members, none of the singers seemed to catch direction that the band was headed.

"I guess they just didn't feel as natural and didn't have the vibe that we were all on," says drummer/vocalist Manganaro. "We're kind of in the place that we'll see what happens. Adding another element to the group is still an option, but we're just trying to go with what we have right now."

Since adding vocals, the band's had some kinks to iron out, and its members are the first to admit that it's been a humbling process as the trio tries to write songs that stay within Carrington's and Manganaro's vocal ranges.

Currently, the band is recording its debut, vocals and all, which it hopes to self-release by March. On January 21, The River Mouth performs at The Boiler Room with True Widow and Smoke and Feathers.

"There aren't really any vocalists in Denton that have that psychedelic swagger," says Carrington. "And, if we do end up finding the right vocalist, or eventually hear the right voice somewhere, we might realize that we were jackasses to have tried to do it ourselves. Who knows?"

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Daniel Rodrigue
Contact: Daniel Rodrigue