Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Teeth, Carry the Wood

I don't generally pitch specific CDs to the Weekend section of the Washington Post, so I get lots of unexpected reviewing pleasures lobbed at me. This review is from spring 2006.

The Teeth
Carry the Wood

The vocals on Carry the Wood, the third recording by Philadelphia-area rockers the Teeth, suggest what Alex, the protagonist in Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film, A Clockwork Orange, might have sounded like had he been a sunny, loopy petty criminal rather than a vibrantly bitter sociopath. Sometimes the sound is ominous, sometimes it's playful, sometimes both. Carry the Wood inflects its glam-rockish songs with a modern American exuberance. The drowsy waltz time of "So Long" suggests a sad, slow dance, and the chorus of "You lost the ones you found" suggests melancholy. But the wanky guitar solo and the whiff of Queen-style pomp tell a different story. "Chop the Tree," which opens with a wholly unexpected accordion, plays at nature-boy contemplation, but the vocalist -- maybe Peter MoDavis, maybe his twin brother, Aaron -- sounds as if he has been communing with nature a bit too long. "Wake" offers a similar feeling: It's an acoustic ramble punctuated with the occasional off chord and such unsettling lines as, "I woke up early this morning and the lamp and the fan were on fire." It's hard to see the point of all this, other than it's a bunch of kids entertaining themselves. But the Teeth aren't navel-gazers; aside from their affinity for throbbing, repetitive and sometimes annoying sounds, they concoct an occasionally dissonant, appealingly retro-Brit sound that's as much your pleasure as theirs. (Pamela Murray Winters, Washington Post)

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