Million Dollar Mouth are (according to a press release I read on them) "putting its own stamp on a fresh, new sound that introduces a compelling Brit Pop/Hard Rock hybrid to the stagnant American music scene." That's quite a mouthful, and perhaps MDM doesn't have the money to put where their mouth is. After hearing Say my Name... I feel it is safe to say that this band isn't saving mainstream rock music anytime soon.
That isn't to say that MDM suck. In fact, Say my Name... is actually quite decent. The press releases sent to me for this band list influences from Radiohead, Weezer, The Clash, Rush, and Jane's Addiction, and that's just to name a few. The truth of the matter is that MDM have nothing in common with any of those bands (except a little bit of Soundgarden in the vocals possibly, or a Weezer like current of blissful pop rock spirit) at all. MDM in fact sounds like non-offensive pop rock, mildly influenced by a generic stoner rock act. It makes for fairly entertaining, laid-back, and somewhat tasteless modern rock...but as always, modern rock is usually tasteless, and there is little surprise in knowing that.
Opener "Stupid Like Me" is mellow, hooky, and somewhat stoner-riff centric modern rock. The faster-paced "Garbage Can" is one of the most interesting tracks, finding MDM playing some bouncy stoner pop punk, and chilling things out for a warbling chorus or two. "Space Out" and it's follower "Big Kiss" are the kind of stuff that with some tweaking could pull MDM out of the pack. "Space Out" is just that; hazy modern rock ballading with some feel-good vibes to it. "Big Kiss" is in my humble opinion the album's best track; guitar lines are thrown helter-skelter over stoner rock riffage and some blissfully simplistic drum lines. Something about this song reminded me of Weezer, and not in a bad way. "Don't Disappear" is a quiet little tune that is just kind of there, and the catchy "Lush" wouldn't sound out of place on my local rock station.
"Give it Up" sounds ever so slightly like Incubus on some of the guitar effects, and there is a slight funk influence to these proceedings. The rocker "Strong" is cool despite that the choral riff sounds like a blatant Lenny Kravitz rip-off. "Sitting Pretty" sounds like a Foo Fighters b-side at times played at a ganja party. "Second Skin" has got the whole Sublime sound going for it, and this quiet ballad feels natural coming from Million Dollar Mouth. "Onefourthree" is solid rock going for the jugular, and it ends the album with a trancy bang.
In conclusion, take a large amount of the more prolific modern rock radio acts, stir nicely, and get stoned; Million Dollar Mouth will emerge. There is a good chance that these guys will go far...they're unique enough to sound out of place and catch ears on radio, but not anywhere nearly strange enough to alienate less adventuresome listeners. This CD proves to be a strong if somewhat faceless debut; here's hoping (and this is the Kyuss / Sabbath / Sleep / Queens of the Stone Age fan in me speaking from beyond time and space) that MDM move past the gateway drugs and let their next CD get even more wiggy and stoned-out. It might make them stick out too much for the studio bigwigs, but at least they'd be a tad more unique.