Album Review: Theodore Grimm – Sharp Teeth, Crooked Jaws

theodoregrimmThe resurgence of Dance Punk was a glimmer that came and went in the early 2000s, and that’s one of many ‘scene things’ I still lament to this day. Some hipster part of me still thinks there’s nothing cooler than the Rapture and LCD Soundsystem playing a loft in Brooklyn, and that’s not even something I ever had a chance to see. And yeah, LCD isn’t really dance punk, but the point still stands. There’s a mythology to it all, and that mythology itself is all over Theodore Grimm‘s  Sharp Teeth, Crooked Jaws.

My main point: this is a flat out great album, so you can stop reading here if you’d like and go download it. It’s sloppy, sounds like it was recorded in a nice basement/garage, and is all kinds of catchy. Unfortunately, the band never toured the release in 2011, as their bassist passed away a week before it came out. For the amount of  talent on display here, it’s really a shame that they disbanded after the fact.

Theodore Grimm took the best parts of bands like the Moving Units and Gang of Four, but added the indie rock stylings of bands like the Shout Out Louds and Hot Hot Heat. First track “I Like You Better” is a definite standout and a good example of the band’s ability to make dance-friendly post-punk with a pop twist. The same goes for “Fall Up Float Down,” relying on a repetitive hook to carry the song along while also getting incessantly stuck in one’s head. “Queens of Too Late” might have made the best single, and takes a melancholy vibe to it’s most hopeful conclusion. What’s weird is that it does so without even hitting a discernible chorus, instead running together three very sticky melodies in lieu of the big, in-your-face chants found on other tracks.

While the songs remain consistent throughout the LP, the recording practice does lag a bit here and there. It might be the only downside to the record, and one thinks it could have benefited from a bit more production. Not too much, of course, but maybe a bit closer to something like Hot Hot Heat’s Make Up the Breakdown would have made the songs hit harder than they do in their current state. Either way, it’s a small gripe and the writing makes it almost a non-issue.

As stated before, this was a solid debut LP from a very promising band that had their time cut short. Take a listen if you can, and let’s end with a dedication from the band:

“Theodore Grimm dedicates this album to the memory of their bass player Jason Metzinger, although he never got to see this album released he is surely somewhere smiling down, hoping you enjoy it!” 

For more information on Theodore Grimm check out their official website.

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