Canadian trio TEETH offer up a seething cacophony of “unapologetically pissed off noise,” which provides perfect catharsis for the absurd times we currently find ourselves enduring.
Indeed, as guitarist Chris LeMasters says of the band: “TEETH is an outlet for us to speak about the things we think need to be talked about MORE – things that might be uncomfortable, or upsetting, or that may get swept under the rug. Personal experiences and feelings that might be too dark, or negative for our other bands. TEETH is very cathartic, in that respect.”
The trio, from Fort Erie in Ontario and completed by Blake Prince (vocals) and Ryan ‘Legs’ Leger, have rich pedigree, having been part of several well-known bands in the past. This includes Hundred Suns, who were one of the first bands we featured in the very fledgling stages of launching this blog four years ago this week (happy birthday us!), and Every Time I Die, a band that inspired my Fantasy Football team name (Every Time I Dive, if you were interested), and one of my all-time favourite bands Norma Jean.
As Chris explains: “That’s really how/why we know each other. We’ve either toured together extensively, or played in the same bands together for periods of time. Legs and I played in Dead and Divine together before he joined Every Time I Die (and we’re also in Hundred Suns), and I’d toured with Blake more times than I can count – we’ve been really close friends for years.
“We’d always talked about starting a band that’s just in-your-face and unapologetically heavy, so when we all finally had the time to make it happen, we decided to pull the trigger. Within a week or two we’d fully fleshed out our first three songs: Destroyer, Smother and Filth. It just clicked so well and felt effortless, so we released those songs independently and got crackin’ on some more.”
The trio have just added to that list with Writhe, which will make your ears writhe in adulterated hardcore bliss. It opens up with twisting stabs of noise then an onslaught of outrageously heavy guitars, which plough along to angst-ridden vocals “Pig, You’ll rot away, I’ll pull the flesh right from the bone, It falls away, Deliver you unto the soil, Entombed.”
That gives way to a monstrously section led by screamed vocals, unrelenting driving drums and guitars. That gives way to cries of “I hope you beg for it” answered by vicious stabs of low-tuned guitars. Then a barrage of heaviness ends with booming low-tuned guitars and drums in a savage final breakdown. Check it out in the video below:
The angry feeling of the song is absolutely justified given the nature of the issues that inspired it. As Chris tells us: “I think people should expect something visceral, and angry. The song touches on the feelings I had when I found out that a woman very close to me had been both physically and mentally abused by her spouse for years. I just wanted to do terrible shit to the person who hurt her, you know?
“I don’t condone violence but I think we ALL experience those feelings at certain points in our lives and I think we should embrace them. They’re primal and uncomfortable and very real. Writhe is about the hate and disgust that you feel against an abuser, or someone who’s abusing their position of power. It was an outlet for me, personally, and I hope it can be an outlet for other people experiencing those same emotions.”
Writhe follows the equally intense previous single Deathrace, which is quite clearly written about the madness most of us are undoubtedly going through in these strange times. It dives straight into fast-paced repeats of “I can’t know… I’m going out of my mind” then “Don’t say – just don’t say… no don’t say that everything’s fine.” Then big screams of “Tension, hypochondria, everything’s fine. Isolation, I’m going out of my mind.”
An almost whisper of “Pacing the room I count backwards from ten” is met by a diving guitar noise then stabs of high-pitched guitars under screams of the same lyrics then a cry of “Iso… I’m so fucked.” The track ends with big stabbing noises over low-tuned guitars. Give it a listen here:
TEETH’s musical inspiration encompasses what Chris describes as “very different/weird stuff.” This includes really heavy stuff like Daughters, NAILS, Converge, Gaza, The Dillinger Escape Plan, as well as more grungey 80s and 90s bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, and Nine Inch Nails, as well as more punk and hardcore influences like Bad Brains, Black Flag, Minor Threat and Fugazi, which took them into bands like Snapcase, Madball and Earth Crisis.
As Chris adds: “I’m sure all of those bands’ sounds find their way into our music somehow, whether we’re conscious of it or not. We just want TEETH to be it’s own animal and kinda hold it’s own flag, if that makes any sense.”
Annoyingly, the ongoing pandemic has put pay to our chances of seeing TEETH in the flesh this year, with an entire year’s worth of tours cancelled. However, fingers crossed that’ll all be rescheduled for 2021 and the band is busy working on a debut record that should also drop early next year.
So in the meantime, do the right thing and go listen to the absolutely filthy, disgustingly brilliantly loud and heavy sound of TEETH. And, as Chris says: “Stand up for what’s right, especially right now in this current global political climate. Lift people up, and look out for the underdogs. We all need to rise up and actively push back against systemic racism and the mistreatment of the LGBTQ+ community. Have difficult conversations with your loved ones if they espouse racist or bigoted/homophobic views. Be good to one another, listen to TEETH and bang your fucking head. We cannot wait to be in the same room as y’all next year.”
Furthermore, TEETH support and encourages fans to donate to/check out several important charities, including Act Blue, which helps to support numerous organizations across the Black Lives Matter movement, and Canadian Women’s Foundation. They’ve also created a “No Justice, No Peace” tshirt, for which 100% of profits go to Black Lives Matter.