Cowboy Mouth fails to live up to hype

November 4, 2010

by Kelly Belton, News Editor

It wasn’t a full house Friday night as Cowboy Mouth took the stage at 3 Docs, but it was by no means empty as Rustonians jumped to the jams of the New Orleans-based band. Lead singer and drummer Fred LeBlanc did what he could to remind the audience members that they could have fun without being at Voodoo Fest. “I don’t give a damn what they’re doing in New Orleans,” he proclaimed.

LeBlanc’s assertive tone served him well during the first few minutes of the performance. It was nice to hear a confidant front man, but my enthusiasm dwindled as his speech continued. In an effort to draw people out of the corners and crevices of the dimly-lit bar, LeBlanc encouraged bar-goers to get on their feet and enjoy the music. However, the encouragement seemed to turn into a demand the more he spoke.

Nevertheless, the music began. As I was unfamiliar with the band, I didn’t know any of their songs, and yet they all sounded familiar. Each seemed to be some rendition of a Green Day song. Each had the generic fast-paced sound of a typical punk rock band.

Between songs, LeBlanc would rattle off cheesy adages like “Just live your life” and “Enjoy life.” While some might enjoy the positive message, it seemed they only added to overdone, stereotypical vibes of Cowboy Mouth’s songs.

Though I enjoyed their unique version of the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” Cowboy Mouth’s signature tune fell flat for this newcomer. I had hope for “Everybody Loves Jill” as seasoned fans explained that audience members throw plastic red spoons onstage as the lyrics mention red spoons. While throwing stuff onstage is always fun, it did not make up for the lack of substance in the band’s music, which felt hollow and unoriginal.

Between my personal dissatisfaction with the music and the extremely loud volume of it, I left 45 minutes into the show. Had I consumed four or five beers, Cowboy Mouth may have made my night. For sober listening pleasure, I would rather turn on my iPod.

I wouldn’t call the evening a disaster, but Cowboy Mouth fell short of my expectations. As the band has a large fan base and an 18-year history, it would be cruel of me to pass judgment after just one performance. I would see them again, just with hopes of seeing a performance like so many people promise they can deliver.

E-mail comments to keb029@latech.edu.