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Out of the Guttermouth

“Do you guys masturbate together?” hollered the rowdy but good-humored Guttermouth frontman Mark Adkins. It was 2000, I was 16, and a long-time pal (we’ll call him Will) and I were backstage at a Guttermouth show at the now-defunct West Palm venue Orbit. Taken aback, Will and I looked at each other and rejoined with the gusto Adkins cheekily inspires: “Hell yeah!” we barked back. We took a picture, Adkins took the stage, and we headed to watch the show. It was awesome.

That interaction with Adkins exemplifies Guttermouth’s unapologetic penchant for bad behavior and bad taste. Positioning themselves as the antithesis to the PC-friendly, socially conscious punk of the 1980s Berkeley scene, they’ve been known to mess with fans, say incredibly offensive things, and excoriate bands they’re on tour with. For instance, in 2004 they mysteriously dropped off the Warped Tour, and it’s unclear whether they were asked to leave, or whether the band stopped of their own volition because of the members’ aversion to what they perceived as hollow political grandstanding in the run-up to the 2004 election. Either way, they didn’t make too many friends. Adkins openly mocked eyeliner-punk bands like My Chemical Romance and Yellowcard and created t-shirts that parodied the ubiquitous anti-Bush shirts which read, “Not My President.” Instead of Bush’s likeness, the Guttermouth shirts included Eddie Munster and Michael J. Fox.

Musically, this attitude translates into fast, aggressive and sarcastic punk that lives up to the band’s name and has kept the band relevant for about 20 years. Check out what will unquestionably be an outrageous performance in one way or another at 7:30 p.m. at Respectable Street Café (518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach.) Does It Matter and The Ruins will open. Call 561-832-9999, or visit respectablestreet.com.
Sun., Aug. 16, 2009

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