Acclaimed Indie Rockers Potty Mouth to Play Free Cincinnati Concert This Weekend

The Massachusetts-based group performs Sunday, June 23 at MOTR Pub with Colleen Green and local greats Leggy

Jun 21, 2019 at 9:54 am

click to enlarge Potty Mouth - Photo: Nazrin Massaro
Photo: Nazrin Massaro
Potty Mouth
Potty Mouth co-founder Ally Einbender and original member Abby Weems have gone on record as being somewhat dismayed at the characterization of their sound as “Riot Grrrl,” the X-chromosomatic Punk offshoot championed by women rockers in the Pacific Northwest in the early ‘90s. The obvious differences are the timeline and geography; Potty Mouth was formed in 2011 by Einbender and bassist Phoebe Harris during their time at Smith College in Massachusetts.

But Einbender and Harris unknowingly christened their newly minted lo-fi Post Punk outfit with a name that mirrored the title of the debut album from Bratmobile, one of the premier standard bearers of the original Riot Grrrl movement. Setting aside that the album title is one word and the band name is two, and given Potty Mouth’s brash, loud and fuzzily recorded blurt and my-fist-your-face stance, it’s logical to assume a connection. But Potty Mouth has long maintained that they weren't even aware of Bratmobile’s existence.

Einbender and Harris conceived Potty Mouth at Smith, then recruited fellow student/drummer Victoria Mandanas and Weems. Of the four, only the rhythm section had any practical experience; in fact, Harris and Mandanas were the only ones who could actually play their instruments. Einbender and Weems learned to play guitar on the fly, becoming more proficient with each rehearsal and gig. In 2012, the year after their formation, Potty Mouth released the Sun Damage EP, followed by the blazing full-length debut, Hell Bent, which was released via the now-Cincinnati-based Old Flame Records.

On the brink of recording their eponymous second EP, Harris left the band and Einbender, Weems and Mandanas continued as a trio, with Einbender shifting to bass and Weems carrying the guitar load. Although they have sometimes augmented their live sound with a second guitarist, Potty Mouth has maintained their three-piece status in the studio, including on their recently released sophomore full-length, SNAFU. The band’s last two releases were their first to feature outside co-songwriters, most notably former Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, and SNAFU benefits from a decided shift away from lo-fi to a big, polished Pop Rock sound.

Potty Mouth plays a free show this Sunday, June 23 at MOTR Pub with Colleen Green and local greats Leggy. Showtime is 8 p.m.