Teeth, Whatever

Joe Muggs

By Joe Muggs

on 09.21.11 in Reviews


The Teeth

If you know, or have any knowledge of, the east London district of Dalston it won’t be hard for you to get a handle on the music of Teeth. It’s an area packed to the gills with artists slumming, rockers rocking, gangsters ganging up, lowlifes plumbing the depths, and all the other elements that make an area — as the saying goes — “painfully hip”. When you hear that Teeth (aka TEETH!!!, T3ETH, or T∑∑TH), formed in Dalston, have a Californian ex-student of fashion communication on vocals and an ex-graphic design student on drums, you won’t even need to know about track titles like “Dead Boys” and “Pill Program”: You’ll be most of the way to imagining their gutter-loving, provocative electro-punk racket already.

Guitar-loving, provocative electro-punk

None of which is any criticism: Teeth deliver their hipster classicism with vim, verve and holler-along pop melodies. Although their sound is full of elements that we’ve heard in Crystal Castles, New Young Pony Club, Le Tigre and co., and although Veronica So’s attitudinal vocals fit into a long line going back to the late Poly Styrene’s shrieks and chants in X Ray Spex, the band has complete coherence and a strong character all its own. You don’t need to live in a chic part of town to appreciate the dancefloor ecstasies of the mid-tempo “See Spaces” and “Flowers” or the throw-yourself-around pounding of “UR1″ and “Confusion.” The consciously edgy sound might be easy to predict, but just how good most of these songs are still comes as a surprise.