Blind Mouths Eat is the music of a weary onward journey; laboured steps announced by wobbly tom hits, melancholy that clings to the feet like a viscous mud, vocals and violins that slur and groan like the exhales of strain under a burdening weight. There’s something sombre about its forward motion in spite of its gloom and reluctance – the inevitability of patriotic duty; a bleak future carved irremovably into the paving stones that comprise the path ahead. “I am coughing and spitting up blood” comes the austere declaration on “Hang From Your Neck”, swinging from a deep minor key – congregations of accordion, harp, violin – birthed from folk’s most shadowy pastoral corners.
The album predominantly resides on a dynamic plain – a flat, barren constant that carries the band and listener as fatigued members of the nomadic party – but there are little spikes of event and disaster that cause the energy to flood back in again. “Through The Streets Of Albany” is a muscular and aggressive burst in amongst the lethargy, with voices seething through grotesque depictions of mortal decay and electric guitars adding a layer of serration to the warmth. A little later on, “Mahina” embarks on an 18-minute mountain climb: a steady ascension that eventually hits a plateau of dissonant string drones and surreal hallucinations, which in turn carries out Blind Mouths Eat on a funeral waltz into sunlight.