Album of the week: Teeth Of The Sea – Wraith

Teeth Of The Sea - Wraith album cover

Teeth Of The Sea have produced an absorbing album that mixes electronica, ambient, dance and jazz with a splash of psych rock and even a touch of avent-garde, while managing to maintain its sense of direction throughout.

On Wraith, the band is not shy on using brass to create that jazzy noir feeling but ensure it doesn’t dominate proceedings, and just when you feel that things are in danger of running aground they surprise you with a change up that pulls you back in once again.

I’d Rather, Jack as an opening piece, lays the groundwork for the rest of the album, fusing a simple heavy drum line with synths, trumpet, some electronic soundscapes and electric guitars. At times it feels like a film noir set in a sweaty nightclub.

That trend continues with the brooding Hiraeth, which flirts with becoming too jazzy before deep bass and grungy guitars fully redeems it.

Fortean Steed explores a more atmospheric, swirling electronic motif, incorporating echoing plucked electric guitars with some folky female choral voices and effect-laden glockenspiel.

There’s some masterful work going on in the track Our Love Can Destroy This Whole Fucking World, where not a whole lot seems to be happening but yet you are hooked from the first note to the last bar. Very reminiscent of the last year’s fantastic album by Nils Frahm.

Where the album really takes off is when the beats speed up and the loops take you on a hypnotic journey, such as in the excellent VISITOR and the brilliantly-titled Gladiators Ready – which transforms into a proper mid-tempo banger worthy of any acid rave.

There was enough variety and depth to this album to make it my album of the week, despite some very strong competition. Get your ears round it now.

Release date: 22 February 2019

Rating: 8/10

Standout track: VISITOR

For fans of:

  • GoGo Penguin
  • Nils Frahm
  • These New Puritans

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2018 Music Review – February

February was a reasonably quiet month in terms of ear-grabbing releases, but there were still a few stand out moments to be had.

Take for instance the electronica-laced jazz musings of Manchester trio GoGo Penguin on A Humdrum Star. I’ve never really been one to listen to Jazz, and still can’t really stand the more trad stuff, but when fused with something that can provide a real soul, like this album does, it takes it to another level.

Elsewhere there’s the desolate, haunting beauty of Efrim Manuel Menuck on Pissing Stars. Like Thom Yorke when he’s feeling particularly depressed. Not really selling that am I, but it’s worth a listen.

If you fancy a bit of Nine Inch Nails crossed with the Sisters of Mercy then Criminal by The Soft Moon might be for you. Or if you prefer a some light-hearted punk then The Lovely Eggs may brighten your day.

However it was the bands keeping the indie/alt rock flame alive that did it for me in Feb. In particular Sub Pop’s Moaning brightened my day with its warmly familiar distorted guitar hooks, while South London’s Phobophobes pulled it out of the bag with some terrific psyche-indie fronted by Nick Cave sound-a-like Jamie Taylor.

Top 10 February 2018

1: Phobophobes – Minature World

Standout track: Where is my owner?

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2: Moaning – Moaning

Standout track: Artificial

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3: Hookworms – Microshift

Standout track: Negative Scanner

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4: Fever Ray – Plunge

Standout track: To the Moon and Back

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5: The Soft Moon – Criminal

Standout track: Like a Father

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6: The Lovely Eggs – This is Eggland

Standout track: Wiggy Giggy

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7: GoGo Penguin – A Humdrum Star

Standout track: Bardo

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8: Efrim Manuel Menuck – Pissing Stars

Standout track: The State and Its Love and Genocide

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9: Turnstile – Time and Space

Standout track: Real Thing

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10: Loma – Loma

Standout track: Black Willow

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