Chicago post-hardcore quartet Cut Teeth has released its debut full-length on Topshelf Records. Titled Night Years, this ten-song collection, anatomically, is a patchwork of sound and style grafts, with one appendage reaching back into the good old days of extreme fringe rock and one firmly keeping hold on the present. Throughout Night Years the listener encounters interesting and effective song structures built on raw, intense vocals, sharp and filthy guitar, riff after riff, spliced and twisted together with low-end notework and strong chord patterns, and hard-hitting drums that are tight and involved enough to provide some order to the chaos and propel the songs forward.
Cut Teeth isn’t just four guys rockin’ out like champs; lyrically, they have a lot to say. Simply put, Cut Teeth’s words are a violent storm of protest, commentary on humanity, bits and pieces of philosophy and some well-placed lines of poetry, all getting heaved up in hot torrents from its churning guts. “The National Throat,” for example, makes mention of Russian figure Arseny a couple of times in lines like these: “As the factory siren blared the bullets stopped and listened/Arseny strummed the strings of a thousand violins/And the people played the war cannons like flutes/imperfect present could stand to make his machine a muse.” “Sea of Id,” the second track, is a song based to some degree on the Freudian concept of the three areas having to do with the structural model of the psyche, ending the with the words, “They swim in the Ego Ocean but they drown in the Sea of Id.” Later in the album, the song “Laud-mouth” has some pretty outstanding lyrics and makes a strong statement. And “Astray Sonata,” the closer, is one of my personal favorites on the album, has thoughtful lyrics like, “His love is a cockroach/Lift the lid and spit in it for measure/Suburban scrawl is gospel/Tear the bandage off/Nigh times, they did approach/Dig until you a see a sign of pink skin/but the band played on and on/Blow the houses down/High tide, it did roll in/Dampening the distant hum of dischord/Yet the band played their song.”
While Cut Teeth only formed a few years ago, in 2011, the band’s members have been around the music scene for some time, ending up at this project by way of Red Knife Lottery, Monday’s Hero, The Felix Culpa, and Stay Ahead of the Weather. In 2012, Cut Teeth put out their first recording, a seven-song EP titled Televandalism. Now, with Night Years, they have established themselves in the scene as a wholly worthwhile band. And if they keep at it, I think we can probably expect good things from them in the future.
For fans of: Every Time I Die, Weak Teeth, Mohinder, Daniel Striped Tiger, etc.