A scant three years ago, I reviewed a bizarre but catchy album, Being Alone With Your Thoughts is for Inmates by Easter Teeth and that experience has stuck with me ever since. Well, Easter Teeth have just released another full length, Truckstop Fear, so just go check it out because all of the catchy weirdness is back and you need something like this in your life.
Easter Teeth, from California, is the brainchild of two brothers, Josh (vocals/drums) and Tim (vocals/bass/everything else) Eymann. From what I’ve found on the interwebs, the plan was to unite Soul and Hardcore and convince people that these two genres belong together. Three years later, this still seems to be the plan and since Being Alone… they have done a split with Moral Monsters and earlier this year released a 2 song ep Shake Hands with Danger.
Having reviewed their previous full length and finding it oddly appealing, I do have to say I was curious to see what the brothers had concocted for this release. It didn’t take long for me to be hooked on this album. “Honey from the Carcass” begins with a catchy drum beat, some random shouting and a funky bass line all set to a sound as if they were playing in the living room in front of me. I dearly love live, raw recordings and from that standpoint, this was perfect and actually fits their music very well. The drums and bass carry on throughout the song with vocals shouted seemingly from another room. All in all, it feels very genuine and real and the listener can’t help but get the sense that Tim and Josh are having a blast while doing this and that resonates.
“Baby’s Got Cold Feet” starts out a bit rougher but eventually settles into another funky bass line accented by some distorted keyboards all of which is accompanied by some frenetic drumming. More of the same with “Play the Harp, Throw the Spear” and again the keyboard plays well with the bass and drum heavy rhythm section. I do almost get the feeling that some of these songs are made up on the fly but they work even with the somewhat awkwardness in the gang (of two?) vocals.
Four songs in and we come to “Truck Stop Fear”. By now I’m starting to get a Primus vibe from the relentless bass driven chaos but some of the early vocals in this song remind me of some early Rollins Band material as some of that tended to venture off the deep end of normal. The chorus is a bit much to take on this song, but given the live feeling of the recording, I can easily imagine a bunch of fans clamoring for the microphone to help out, so it works.
“Sit Down Party” starts out again with a bass line (imagine that) but in this case my memory turns to something off Nirvana’s Bleach album, it has that rough but melodic feel to it. The song then goes in a different direction and has coaches whistles and keyboard and a lot of shouting all the while maintaining that great bass line.
As odd as it sounds, Easter Teeth seem to have really matured as a band and polished their sound . That being said, Truckstop Fear may not be for everyone. On one hand there is the obvious quirky and odd, loud and raucous, and on the other hand are some great hooks and melody all in a rough package with minimal production that lets the emotion and energy come through. You owe it to yourself to give it a chance.
Written by John Jackson
1. Honey from the Carcass
2. Baby’s Got Cold Feet
3. Play the Harp, Throw the Spear
4. Truck Stop Fear
5. Good Intentions Paving Co.
6. Sit Down Party
7. Inspiration Indiana
8. Just Curves
9. Pick a Puppy
Joshua Eymann: Vocals, drums
Timothy Eymann: Vocals, bass, keyboards
Record Label: ZAP Records, Oct. 2017