Teeth Of The Sea: MASTER (Rocket Recordings)
LP / CD / DL
After nearly a three-year wait since their last release (during which time the band’s following has fair burgeoned thanks to their bombastic live shows), North London psych-rock band Teeth Of The Sea’s third album, Master is finally with us. To find out whether it matches those live shows in brilliance, read on.
Inspired somewhat by their soundtrack works (the most prominent being their Bestival performance where they unveiled Beyond The Transfinite, a tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odysey), Master is definitely a progression from their previous album Your Mercury. However, it is still an album of two halves.
The first three tracks on the album are made up of nasty-synth, big-bass dance (Reaper coming across like a younger brother to the more mature Out Of Control by The Chemical Brothers) space-rock, and tribal electronica. Unfortunately, these never seem to actually nail the different genres and although experimentation is to be applauded, you get the impression that if they had stuck to one genre on each song, the effects would have been much stronger.
Just when things threaten to drift, Black Strategy snaps the album into focus with tribal-techno morphing into gothic electronica, all delivered with extreme conviction and aplomb.
Master continues to get stronger and stronger, with tracks like Pleiades Underground-Inexorable Master and Responder introducing elements of thrash metal guitars and heavy Swans-scuzz. However, even these pale in comparison to Put Me On Your Shoulders So I Can See The Rats & the penultimate track All Human Is Error.
It is on these two tracks that you can hear the influence of Throbbing Gristle (the band have cited TG as an influence from early on in their career), and, especially on All Human, the Transverse album by Carter, Tutti, Void. The former’s Hamburger Lady and Slug Bait’s DNA can be found seeping through these tunes and TOTS sound like they have so much fun when they let their dark side out.
Master shows a band not afraid to experiment and push the boundaries of their instruments and themselves, however, with a little bit of self editing, the album would have been truly spectacular.