Blending classic heavy metal with elements of grunge, hard rock and progressive rock, Nottingham’s Cottonmouth are very much onto a winning formula. The quartet have honed an engaging sound that they describe as “thunderous metal riffage,” which we love.
The band first formed back in late 2017 when frontman Jack (vocals and rythym guitar) and bassist Liam started jamming with a some friends. They soon added drummer Dan, an old school friend and former bandmate of Jack’s, then lead guitarist Dale, who used to work in the same guitar shop as Jack which confirmed his shredding abilities.
The quartet have swiftly set about honing their engaging, classic sound, which Jack describes as: “A combination of the classic, heavy metal sound that was founded here in the UK. Mixed with inspirations from Grunge and Progressive tastes, we focus on writing riff based, memorable tracks that sound great on a live stage.”
Our latest taste of this is Hollow, a single released in October. It dives straight into a big darting guitar lick, which drops into a moody opening verse led by Jack’s powerful vocals. A darting riff joins in as it feeds into a big singalong chorus “All I see is this path in front of me, To be free escaping the chains of insanity, Hollow” with the vocals answered by delicious guitar riffs.
The pace drops slightly for a second verse, then explodes with a lively riff and drums that build up to another chorus. That gives way to a huge guitar solo that ends on the fun descending riff and feeds into a final, extended blast of the chorus.
On the track, Jack told us: “It was great, this was our first single release under our new management, Forge AMP. This made for a much stronger and more insightful release, compared to what we had done previously. They hooked us up with a PR company called Plug Promote and Play, who got our single on radios all over the place, which was incredible for us. It also shot straight to the top of our Spotify. For those that haven’t heard it, be prepared for heavy riffs, progressive verses, a big catchy chorus and a thrashy, shred filled solo inspired by the likes of Judas Priest.” Give it a listen here:
The power of Cottonmouth is proven by their huge second single Destroyer, which kicks off with a really cool riff over heavy guitar chords and feeds into a verse over palm-muted guitars. That feeds into a chorus of powerful vocals over a meandering lick and rolling drums. Second time around, the chorus drops into a slower section of a plodding bassline and palm-muted guitars, then bursts into life with huge drawn-out guitar chords and crashing cymbals, which give way to a ripping guitar solo. Check it out in the video below:
The Cottonmouth sound has been inspired by the likes of classic metal greats, as well as Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Black Stone Cherry. As Jack tells us: “As with any metalhead, the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden & Judas Priest got me hooked. The super heavy guitars, crazy solos and epic choruses were all the influence I needed to pick up a guitar and start jamming.”
And when it comes to writing music, he adds: “More than anything, I am inspired by a great riff and the feeling I get when I jam with the lads. Piecing together songs, writing melodies and fitting it all together like a game of heavy metal Tetris is enough to keep me going. When it comes to lyrics, I try not to get lost writing about anything too big. I keep it local and personal but ambiguous enough that it could be applied to a thousand other things.”
There’s plenty more to come from Cottonmouth, including new music and, fingers crossed, gigs soon. As Jack says: “Well.. hopefully, some gigs?! Please?! There are a few things pencilled in the diary, but as we all know.. they’ll stay in pencil for the foreseeable. We’ve been really active during the lockdowns – practising and hanging out (over Zoom of course ), and writing new tracks. Sometimes it can be hard to find the time when gigging! So, we’ll 100% be releasing new music this year, it’s all about getting into the studio safely.
“We’re just four dudes who enjoy playing music and hanging together. To get the full Cottonmouth experience you’ve gotta come see us live, we make sure to keep our live set as tight as possible for a great night of Rock and Metal – if we’re gigging nearby, come and see us!”