New Band of the Week: Kicked In The Teeth

Nothing quite shakes off the Monday morning blues than a fix of energetic, frenetic, fast-paced hardcore punk. So expect fun, enthusiastic punk laced with metal influences and more from the exciting sound of Northwich’s Kicked In The Teeth.

The Cheshire quartet of Jay, Chris, Joe and Mike first started out towards the end of 2018 but its members have known each other for at least 20 years, when they were at school together or forming their first bands.

As Chris tells us: “I guess you’d class all of us as lifers as we are still playing 20 years on. We’d all done little bits here and there with each other but KITT is the first time we’ve really put something proper together that we are all really enthusiastic about. A few days ago, Joe commented that he wished we’d put this bands together years ago, but I think it works because we didn’t. We are all a bit older now and we can say whatever we like to each other with no real worry.

“It’s just good to be playing live music to the standard we all expect. The energy and enthusiasm is still there from all quarters of the band and even though we are only (two years) in it feels like we’ve been doing it forever, in a good way though.”

Having classified their sound as hardcore punk, the band are keen to ensure we don’t get a false image of what they actually are. As Chris explains: “We are a punk band I think, but saying that conjures up all sorts of ideas that are probably a million miles away from what we are. There’s no safety pins and bum-flaps, we are pretty aggressive sounding, but we all like a chorus and a bit of melody. I’ve always considered myself to be someone who plays in punk bands at any rate, I think that reflects in the DIY approach we have to things.

“We like to have fun and I think that comes across at the gigs. The whole point of watching a band is to enjoy it so we are as inclusive as we possibly can be and luckily we’ve had a really great bunch of people get on board with that – so in summation, loud but lovely. ” 

The band set us their latest single Death Adventure, which was released in August. It kicks off in lively fashion with a blitz of fast-paced vocals then lively guitar chords and drums that drop into punky vocals answered by more guitars and drums.

Cool descending guitars support shouted vocals, then heavy guitars feed into more lively vocals. That gives way to a funky little guitar solo and jumps back into fun guitars and driving drums under Jay’s engaging vocals, which bring this short, sharp, fast-paced track to a close.

Check it out in the video below:

On the track, Chris told us: “Jay’s lyrics and delivery have been a real revelation to all of us. We all figured he’d be ok but he’d never fronted a band before. In fact, he’d been a bassist and a drummer, so quite the opposite, but he’s really nailed it.

“The song is about taking opportunities I think (unless I misunderstood), which is important. We all have kids so I think the ‘message’ of all our songs are overwhelmingly positive, they’re aggressive and challenging, but so is life, so take the opportunities when they come. For example, Jay appeared naked onstage at the MTV Europe Awards in 2003, he was stood directly in front of Michael Stipe, not everybody can say that.”

The band released self-title debut album in 2019 and it’s packed with more energetic punky goodness such as the excellent One Way Street, on which we enjoy the fun palm-muted guitars that gradually build up under Jay’s breathless vocals. Give it a listen here:

Kicked In The Teeth’s members have largely inspired by punk, while Chris describes Joe as “the most electric” and questions some of Jay’s choices. As he explains: “It’s pretty varied. I’ve always been a punk guy, as has Jay, but he also likes Enya and the individual tracks for the rides at Alton Towers, so he’s a bit weird. We call our bassist ‘Metal Mike’ for obvious reasons, but that’s a touch unfair as he has also been known to listen to Grunge. Joe is probably most electric, he has a good ear for a hook and a song, he gets very frustrated explain to the rest of us why certain things won’t work. We usually get him to try it, it doesn’t work and we do it the way he said.”

While their music is inspired by 20-odd years of life and day-to-day activities and, as touched on above, largely positive vibes. As Chris adds: “It’s something we’ve all always done, we’ve all been in bands since we were children, so I guess it’s a combination of 25+ years of everything. We all have a slightly different background, so I think initially we were trying to please each other a bit. I would play down the idea of everything being a three chord wonder, Mike resisted his metal tendencies as much as he could and I think that restraint is what helped us find what’s now our sound. We’ve been compared to a lot of really different sounding bands, which is good and I think we are all pretty happy with it. 

“Themes are mainly just day to day stuff, finding inspiration in normality is good, Jay writes most of the lyrics and he’s got a really good knack of phrasing things, recurring themes are generally pretty positive things, pushing yourself to be better, some of it is a bit darker and pissed off, but on the whole we are an optimistic bunch. “

The band had plans for gigs at the end of the year, but clearly that isn’t happening due to the ongoing situation. However, there’s plenty of music to get your teeth stuck into, as Chris says: “We have the new 7” out on Rare Vitamin along with the vinyl reissue of the album and we have another thing lined up that would be nice to get out before the end of the year, but we have to take it all in our stride like everyone else at the moment. Hopefully it’ll get figured out soon, not just for bands like us, but all the people who are out of work and can’t pay the bills at the minute and the production crews that work on the bigger tours that have largely been left out to dry by their employers.”

And, as Chris adds: “I just want people to hear the music, come to a gig, hang out, we only have a finite amount of time on the planet, we should enjoy it. For me, that’s playing gigs and seeing friends old and new, I think there’s a lot of other people who feel the same, so why not?”

You can follow Kicked In The Teeth on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and check out their music on Spotify, Bandcamp and YouTube.

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