Release Date: Oct 7, 2013
Record label: Rocket Recordings
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
What makes music so special, and what makes it so consistently exciting, for me at least, is that it can be effective on so many different levels. Music can be emotive, thought-provoking, fun and physically impactful, but rarely is it all four at once. To achieve such a perfect balancing of musical impacts requires dextrous creativity as well as raw talent and, of course, there are many great artists who never achieve the balance but remain true greats in their chosen field.
It’s been a good year for slightly disturbing, sci-fi influenced, electronic journeys into the dark side of the soul. The Haxan Cloak and 65daysofstatic have both released albums that trouble and delight, if not always in equal measure. Master sees Teeth Of The Sea throwing their hat into the ring and reaching for similar heights. In the three years since the release of Your Mercury, their second album, the band has been pretty busy terrorising (and in some cases, irritating) audiences at various off-centre festivals and dingy venues.
Keeping track of the continual evolution of London-based post-everything-and-anything quartet Teeth of the Sea has been fascinating from the moment their emphatic debut, Orphaned By The Ocean hit the stores in 2010, amid much praise from the music press and none other than everyone's favourite weirdo Julian Cope. The band instantly struck this reviewer as being a unique entity, with comparisons to other acts seeming ridiculous, and references to influences only painting part of a dramatic picture. The album mixed sparse noise with trumpet-driven psychedelia and hints of expansive krautrock-ish prog, but never coalesced into any of them, instead existing in a world of its own, one where grace and discord existed in a troubled harmony (of sorts).
All too often, experimental music can seem like a chore. Much like forcing down a nutritious but really quite unpleasant health drink, you know you’re doing something virtuous when taking in another bout of intellectually endowed but coldly detached minimalism or sitting through a torrent of nails-down-a-blackboard noise action, but it isn’t necessarily that much fun. On Master, Teeth of the Sea prove that a taste for experimental explorations doesn’t have to neglect the listener’s need to be entertained as well as challenged.