Slapping the riot grrrl label on us just because we happen to be women playing a type of music that happens to be reminiscent of
another era in time seems like a lazy conflation.
— Ally Einbinder
Potty Mouth was an American pop rock band, formed in Western Massachusetts, in 2011 at Smith College. The band’s original lineup was Ally Einbinder (bass), Phoebe Harris (lead guitar, vocals), Abby Weems (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), and Victoria Mandanas (drums). Following Harris’ (and later Ali Donohue’s) departure, Potty Mouth continued as a three-piece, with Abby Weems on lead guitar and moved to Los Angeles. Kate Meizner (guitar, backing vocals) is listed as a “touring musician” since 2014 but not an official member of the band?
Potty Mouth was formed by Ally Einbinder and Phoebe Harris, two Smith College students, in 2011. Einbinder played bass while Harris learned to play the guitar. Another Smith College student, Victoria Mandanas, joined the band to play drums, having played in a punk rock band in high school; Abby Weems, a high school student at the time, also joined to play guitar and sing lead vocals. Like Harris, Weems did not know how to play guitar before joining Potty Mouth. In September 2011, the band recorded four demo tracks. According to Einbinder, Harris thought of the band’s name while on the toilet, unaware of the Bratmobile album of the same name.
In 2013, Potty Mouth released their first full-length album, Hell Bent, to positive reviews from critics. In 2015, they released a self-titled EP, which was recorded without Harris, who had departed from the band. The band’s tour to promote the EP featured various guest rhythm guitarists. During this time, they made a distribution deal with Alternative Distribution Alliance and gained attention from Atlantic Records. The band continued to tour in 2016, supporting Beach Slang’s spring tour. For their 2016 shows, Potty Mouth was joined by guitarist Aurore Ounjian of Mean Creek. In July, the band played at Lollapalooza, their first music festival.
Potty Mouth’s second album, SNAFU, was released on March 1, 2019, preceded by two singles: “22” in January and “Starry Eyes” in February. The album received significant praise from the critics. Pitchfork’s Nina Corcoran awarded the album a 7.2 rating and labelled it, “an arena-sized follow up that sounds like a major-label effort without all the compromises.” Writing for i-D, Nick Fulton called it “a career-defining moment for the Massachusetts band.”
Potty Mouth announced they had disbanded on October 28, 2021. The band’s final EP, 1% Happier, will be released on November 19.
In a Pitchfork review of Hell Bent, Jenn Pelly described Weems’s vocals as a “Liz Phair-style monotone”, delivering “deceptively simple lyrics.” Writing for the Toronto Star, Ben Rayner wrote that Weems “sounds like she’s perpetually rolling her eyes at everything and everyone in scorn.” Jenn Pelly and Liz Pelly also compare the band’s sound to pop-punk and post-punk with vestiges of surf music.
Studio albums = 2
EPs = 3
Singles = 9
Live releases = 1
Also from their website I saw:
Compilation = 1
“Sunday, Someday: A Compilation Album of Friends Who Meet on Sundays,” a split release featuring new songs by us, Nervus, Koji, Solstice Rey and Full On Mone’t. Out March 19, 2021 on Get Better Records.
One thing to share: from Talkhouse
The thing I picked is this Zoom group that Ally and I have been doing every Sunday since April. When the pandemic happened, we had all these tours that were cancelled, and one of them was our first tour to the UK. Out of that, we and the members of the bands that we were going to tour with — KOJI, Nervus, Solstice Rey, and Full On Mone’t — decided to do a Zoom together and just talk about what the hell was gonna go on with this tour. We just had such a fun time talking that we started doing it every Sunday. People hop on and hop off, and sometimes we watch movies.
It’s been really fun and interesting, because it feels like we’ve made these real friends just through video calls. Eventually, we were just like, “Why don’t we put out a compilation record with all of us?” Koji is a solo artist who has a live band with a bunch of people, and even within that there are two separate solo artists, so we decided to put together songs from all of the musicians in the group, whoever wanted to contribute. We’re putting out this record as a way to be like a mutual aid for the group, and whenever we decide to tour, we’ll have this money to be able to make it happen. It’ll be awesome, because we’ve all become such good friends but we haven’t even met in person.
— Abby Weems
Official website: here