Tuesday 26 September 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Made Of Teeth - "Made Of Teeth"

By: Jay Hampshire

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 28/08/2017
Label: Red Sun Sounds

Made Of Teeth have produced a confident, punchy, and savage debut that provides the listener with labyrinthine levels of surprises around each corner.

“Made Of Teeth” DD track listing

1). Citrus Fetus Potus
2). Drunk On Bleach
3). Weeper
4). Hook, Tooth and Claw
5). Bleak Phlegm
6). The Karman Line

The Review

What do you do with your down time? Binge watch the latest Netflix must see? Vainly attempt to put together some flat pack furniture without resorting to violence? Spin up some vinyl and indulge in some of the Devil’s lettuce? For Welsh heavy-underground luminaries Chris West and Steve Jones, their down time from ‘main’ doom/country/psych/stoner/prog/kitchen-sink project Spider Kitten has seen them give birth to something beautiful in its malignancy.

Made Of Teeth (and the self-titled debut record) were born of an insatiable lust to play live and as up in folks’ faces as possible. The third leg of the sonic stool is provided by Lacertilia’s Tom Cole on bass/vocals, seeing West on guitar/vocal duties and Jones handling duties behind the kit (as well as vocals, because three pissed off growls are better than one). The kind of sneering, vitriolic punk energy the best live bands tote around is captured and somehow restrained across the six tracks on offer.

‘Citrus Fetus Potus’ comes in hard with shimmering cymbals and a clock ticking like a bomb timer, before exploding with stabbing riffs that lumber like old-school Mastodon licks. Barked vocals buffer around the twisting, writhing guitars, almost used as punctuation. Stuttering palm muting hits like a closed fist, before the track ends on some beefy call and response shouts. ‘Drunk On Bleach’ trills with bright guitar before locking into a ripper of a drive, a real fist pumping, chugging groove. It’s a tad rough around the edges, but satisfyingly so, dropping briefly into a deceptively calm section with some monstrous vocals. It’s simple, but it’s fucking slablike.

Weeper’ shuffles in with some creepy backmasking, before crawling away on the back of a dour riff. Spoken word vocals come across like the fractured ramblings of a serial killers’ notebook, before rising up into jarring motes of atonality and massive chords. ‘Hook, Tooth and Claw’ is the biggest departure on the record. Lapping ways and a slow rush of breath usher in hollow, jangling, melancholy acoustic guitar (a possible hint at the bands’ experiences with all things Arachnid and Feline). Bolshy, bouncing riffs kick this aside with a hobnailed boot, hardcore gang vocals and razor edged bass rolling tidally over an underlay of muscular toms.

Bleak Phlegm’ is as delicate as it sounds, plodding, Melvins-ian bass and skittering guitar under ranting vocals swaggering away. Things amp up into a ballsier main riff, held chords screeching protest before collapsing into a gentle, lilting loop that builds to a dramatic, slowly revolving crescendo – it’s the longest song here, and it exploits its length to great effect. ‘The Karman Line’ hops with punk energy and rolling drums, scrappy with layers of guitar and angular riffing, running the gamut between lo-fi grooves and grungy drives.

Heavier and more confrontational than any work we’ve heard from the trio’s other projects (even Wests’ stint with the much missed Taint) there’s a simple ferocity to Made Of Teeth’s sound that sees them eschew overly flash production and gimmicky performance. They don’t skimp on songcraft, however, as it takes both nous and talent to write solid slabs of riffola that sound joyously simplistic while being anything but. They combine elements from all over the influence spectrum with an unerring smoothness, providing a listen that’s labyrinthine in the surprises around each corner. Confident, punchy, and savage – one thing that drips from every pore of this release is the knowledge that the band had as much cathartic fun making it as you will listening to it.

‘Made Of Teeth’ is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook