Mouthpiece and Tim McMahon have always kind of been that bridge between the late 80’s youth crew era in NY, and the tri-state area “revival” that happened from 1996-1999. They have done reunion shows here and there over the years, and I think it’s cool because it’s something that they’re still interested in and want to get together and do from time to time.
The first record in the photo above is a test pressing of the self-titled or “Can We Win” 7″. I’ve actually own 2 copies of this record, and I got both of them from Fred Hammer! haha. I met Fred at some shows in Santa Barbara and Oxnard/Ventura in the late 90’s. My friend Mike Stelle introduced me to him one night at the Living Room in SB, I think. Over the years we’ve done a couple of record trades. The first was a trade for the Mouthpiece 7″ test pressing. I had mail ordered that Unbroken discography LP “It’s Getting Tougher To Say The Right Things” from Indecision Records, and there were only 100 on white vinyl. Fred hadn’t been able to score one. He said he had a couple of these Mouthpiece 7″ tests, and he was willing to trade me one for the Unbroken LP. I think it was a straight up trade, but I may have given him a couple other modern things? Either way, I think it was really nice of Fred to do that for me, because very rarely will you find someone willing to trade a younger kid some cool old vinyl for more modern stuff – especially things that just came out! Back then I was still working on building my collection, and I relied on these kind of relationships to get good scores sometimes. So I really appreciated him doing that for me – I was very aware it was a hookup he was giving me as a favor… (Whattup Fred! Thank you!). I think at some point I traded this Mouthpiece test to a kid in NJ for some other records I wanted – but I honestly can’t remember what I got in return. It was hard for me to let go of the Mouthpiece test, but I remembered that Fred had 2 or more of those things back when he originally traded it to me! So I emailed him and was able to do another trade with him to get another Mouthpiece 7″ test! I don’t remember what we traded this time, but I think it was probably more of a straight up trade this time. It may very well be that he hooked me up again, though! Fred, if you remember, fill me in!
This is the limited photo-copied “Middlesex cover” that is numbered out of 50. Mine is #18. These were sold at a show at Middlesex College. These are obviously pretty hard to find because there were only 50 of them. I got this copy from Tru Pray a couple years ago when he needed to raise some cash to help out his little bulldog, Chainsaw.
The next 2 copies on the top row are 1st pressing purple and black vinyl. Notice the logo has some “distress” to it. In the 2nd+ pressings on the second row, you can see that eventually they made the logo more solid using a regular font. The close-up photo shows the difference in distress on the lettering.
The 2nd pressing label art label art was changed, as well as the art on the back cover of the 7″. Labels on the 2nd pressing are black, 3rd+ are purple. The back cover on the later pressings is all black with “XXX” and song titles, whereas first pressing had a live photo.
In 2000, Mouthpiece played some reunion shows in NJ (and also DC and maybe Philly, I think). I was interested in seeing them play, but I couldn’t afford to fly out to NJ just for a show or two. At the time, I had a current email thread going between Tim McMahon, singer of Mouthpiece. I think it had to do with some drama that was going on with the Revelation Records message board at the time. We had both had similar opinions on some things, and had exchanged some emails back and forth talking about how retarded some folks were being. I don’t remember the gist of it all, but I know we were on the same page of something or other. Actually, the topic itself may have been whether Mouthpiece should or shouldn’t be doing these reunions, haha! I probably had just emailed Tim to say I thought it sounded cool to me! Anyway, when the shows were happening, I asked him if he could save me some copies of the reunion 7″s on gold vinyl that they were making, and I would send him some cash. He promised me he would, and insisted that I didn’t send him anything. I thought that was really nice of him to go out of his way to save records for a kid from California that he’d never met, solely based on some conversations we’d had via email. This is the kind of thing I love about record collecting and hardcore, in general. A week or so after the shows, Tim sent me three 7″s. One copy was the red “skater” cover on gold vinyl, out of 150. Another copy was a “collage” cover with red lettering on gold vinyl out of 300. “Horse Flem” is hand written on the dust sleeve… Who knows. haha. The third copy was a “collage” cover with blue lettering, and a Powell Peralta “Bones” screen print on the inside cover. I guess they only did 50 or less of these! I was extra psyched on this, and obviously sent him an email to say thanks. I still remember him doing that for me and always have a special feeling towards Mouthpiece because of it.
I didn’t talk to Tim for probably six years, until a few short exchanges regarding some possible layout work for a Champion/Betrayed split 7″ release I was working on for Rivalry. Nothing ever really materalized with that layout work because we had a friend that just banged it out for us, but I got to talking with Tim again about Chain Crew covers (Chain Of Strength 7″) and other random hardcore stuff. He ended up asking me if I could send him a bunch of Rivalry promo CD’s, just to check out some of the music I was releasing. I told him of course I would!! In return, Tim sent me a package with all sorts of cool odds and ends – including some Chain Of Strength “stationary” that Chain used when mailing out t-shirts, and some cool Mouthpiece “postcards” that Tim and the guys hand-made. The Mouthpiece postcard is pictured above, and the Chain Of Strength stationary is included in photos in the Revelation Records photo page. Anyway, the point here is that I’ve never met Tim McMahon in person, but our paths have crossed a couple times online over the years, and he’s always been beyond nice and generous with me. That is hardcore.
This photo just shows the inserts over the years. Far left is the 1st pressing insert. The middle insert was used in the 2nd, 3rd, and future pressings with XXX back cover. The far right insert was used in all versions of the reunion 7″ on gold vinyl. The postcard at the bottom was just something Tim McMahon mailed me with some other stuff one time, as mentioned above. I just threw it in this pic for fun.
The final copies on the bottom row of the main photo are the second Mouthpiece 7″, the “Face Tomorrow” 7″. The first clear vinyl copy has the “Increase The Grease” stamp, out of only 50 copies, with a special pre-order insert because the covers weren’t done. I think the deal with this is some inside joke regarding calling the band “Mouth-grease”? Hair grease maybe? I’m sure plenty of people can chime in on the comments here and explain it – I just don’t remember the details. This thing is a bitch to find versus the other 450 clear copies with “1995 Summer Tour” stamps. I got my “Increase The Grease” stamp from my man Giampaolo in Italy. I’ve already written about this trade in the Schism and AN posts, but we did a big trade which brought me this Mouthpiece 7″ /50, an original Project X 7″, a one of a kind American Nightmare blue/turquoise demo 7″s, and a Right Brigade / A Poor Excuse 7″ test. I was stoked to pick up a bunch of stuff I wanted. Paolo and I have been exchanging records for 10+ years now, and this was probably our best trade. He’s a great guy, and has been a good friend over the years. The last record in the photo is a black vinyl “Face Tomorrow” 7″ with the regular cover. I don’t know if there are different variations of this thing pressed over the years, but I never really noticed any difference in pressings, if any.
Shown here is a test pressing of Mouthpiece’s only full length LP – “What Was Said”. Oddly enough, What We Said was never pressed on colored vinyl, so I just own the one and only black vinyl copy of this release. In 2010, Revelation released a Mouthpiece discography LP entitled “Can’t Kill What’s Inside”. There are 343 on white vinyl and 780 on black vinyl. It just seems appropriate that Mouthpiece finally had something released on Revelation! Mouthpiece’s Revelation release seemed to be that missing link from Rev’s GB, YOT, and Chain releases in the late 80’s to the In My Eyes LP’s in the late 90’s.
I’m glad that the Mouthpiece discography on Revelation got the proper treatment and looks right in line with a Rev #1-23 release, complete with “star background” on the labels and a big 12×24″ poster insert! This really does look like the long lost Mouthpiece release that always seemed like it should of been on Revelation.
V/A – “It’s For Life” LP Compilation“It’s For Life” comp, featuring Mouthpiece, Lifetime, Strife, Unbroken, Flagman, Mean Season, Resurrection, and Reveal. Mid 90’s jamz, complete with weird pink-ish vinyl. I think this was released or funded by Victory Records in some way.
V/A – “Words To Live By, Words To Die For” 7″ Compilation“Words To Live By…” 7″ compilation featuring Mouthpiece, Turning Point, Outspoken, Undertow, Drift Again, Counter Punch. New Age Records stylee.
Just for fun, I figured I’d also put the Hands Tied 7″ in the Mouthpiece post. Tim and some of the guys from the later incarnations of Mouthpiece did the Hands Tied 7″ during the tri-state hardcore revival of the late 90’s. There were 300 on purple vinyl, and probably a bunch on black vinyl. They did a European tour and made the Project X rip-off covers with a weird orange mixed vinyl. Mine is #82/300. The record on the far right was a brand new Hands Tied 7″ that they recorded and self-released on Livewire Records in 2010! There were red and orange vinyl copies, but I only have the one red vinyl copy.
My Mouthpiece collection, at its peak:
- Mouthpiece – Can We Win (TEST PRESS, w/special cover)
- Mouthpiece – Can We Win (PURPLE, Middlesex cover, 1st press, #18/50)
- Mouthpiece – Can We Win (PURPLE, 1st press, distressed lettering on cover, big insert with photos)
- Mouthpiece – Can We Win (BLACK, 1st press, distressed lettering on cover, big insert with photos)
- Mouthpiece – Can We Win (BLACK, later press, BLACK labels, solid lettering, all black XXX back cover)
- Mouthpiece – Can We Win (BLACK, later press, PURPLE labels, solid lettering, all black XXX back cover)
- Mouthpiece – Can We Win (GOLD, collage w/BLUE WRITING not red, and Powell “bones” screen on inside, RARE)
- Mouthpiece – Can We Win (GOLD, reunion press, red skater cover, #’d 14/150)
- Mouthpiece – Can We Win (GOLD, collage cover, “HORSE FLEM” on inner dust sleeve, out of 300)
- Mouthpiece – Face Tomorrow (CLEAR, Increase The Grease stamp and pre-order insert, out of 50)
- Mouthpiece – Face Tomorrow (CLEAR, 1995 summer tour labels)
- Mouthpiece – Face Tomorrow (BLACK)
- Mouthpiece – What Was Said (TEST PRESS)
- Mouthpiece – What Was Said (BLACK)
- Mouthpiece – Can’t Kill What’s Inside (WHITE, out of 343)
- Mouthpiece – Can’t Kill What’s Inside (BLACK, out of 780)
- V/A – It’s For Life LP Compilation (PINK, Mouthpiece, Lifetime, Strife, Unbroken, etc)
- V/A – Words To Live By, Words To Die For (CLEAR, Mouthpiece, TP, Undertow, Outspoken, etc)
- Hands Tied – s/t (PURPLE, out of 300)
- Hands Tied – s/t (ORANGE, Euro Tour Project X rip-off cover, #82/300)
- Hands Tied – s/t (BLACK)
- Hands Tied – Through The Wreckage (RED)