Eseye / Scribbling Idiots (2010)
Reviewed by William
It could be naivety, but the impression is that not many are familiar with Mouth Warren (pka Mouf Warren). On the other hand, I feel that there are quite a few who might recognize Illect Recordings‘ flagship super group, Scribbling Idiots. Mouth Warren is a member of the SI crew, and has also been seen on plenty of solo efforts from other Idiots. … And now you know.
For what it’s worth, Mouth is able to [re]introduce himself to the masses through his nickel pack of tracks on the Arbitrary Position EP. You can pick the album up in digital or physical form from the Scribbling Idiots’ website for just a handful of bills, but you might want to check some samples beforehand. Arbitrary Position may have been a perfect title for the album since each track had its own feel and topic, and they weren’t placed together in a cohesive structure – possibly on purpose. But, again, each coin has an opposite side. The EP’s purpose and intent may very well have been to give a quick glimpse into Mouth Warren’s artistic expressions over 4/4 timings. If so, it just may be that I’m too used to searching for albums with a general theme and storyline for my own collection – which is exactly why I’m offering both scenarios.
Mouth Warren’s greatest asset in this project is his storytelling. He’s able to plainly lay down the facts. Not much wordplay and double meanings on the album, but sometimes those simply are not necessary and can pull away from the blunt, straight-forward conversational tracks. Look no farther than track one “Types and Shadows” for a prime example. A few songs later on “Just Dream”, Mouth Warren does it again with the pin point imagery bringing the listener directly into the plot he’s narrating. This is possibly the best track on the EP in all aspects – beat, lyrics, story, and flow. “AEIOU”, the lead single, comes in a close second.
That point brings us to the most notable aspect of the album – Mouth Warren’s flow. The exact rhyme patterns that allow a listener to recognize Mouth on a track are the same ones that might be calling for a producer (not to be confused with beat maker) to work with him on delivery. Don’t get it twisted, everything mentioned earlier is true. Mouth Warren definitely has skill and can definitely tell a story. For at least half of this short album it just felt like he was trying to force his delivery like his verses were written before a beat was added to the session. Other than sounding forced or rushed, that often makes rapping sound more like talking in order to fit all words and syllables into the rhythm.
So added up, do these things make for an album you simply can’t enjoy? Not necessarily. The problem I have is that in just five tracks, I would assume you want to put your best foot forward and release five solid tracks. I just don’t feel like that was accomplished and I’ve personally heard much better from Mouth Warren. I definitely wouldn’t discount Mouth as a viable member and contributor to the Scribbling Idiots, or even say he lacks real skill to put a solid solo project together. But, as I said earlier, you may want to look for a few previews before picking up Arbitrary Position because I don’t feel like that was done on this EP.
For fans of: Scribbling Idiots, Tunnel Rats