Loose Tooth: Big Day

Philly’s Loose Tooth makes music by blending indie rock styles with grunge, noise, art pop, and irresistibly catchy melodies. They have a small repertoire of material so far, but it contains so many unique sounds and melodies that just a few tracks are dense enough to satisfy the listener. Big Day is another assortment of tracks where Loose Tooth stretches as much as they can inside their own sound, and thus creating a diverse mélange of music with common grounds. They have a clear influence of 90’s indie rock, and it is reflected in the album structure, production style, and a general attitude of “anything goes” in the music.

“Sleep With The State Concept” takes the lackadaisical approach of early 90’s indie rock. Nothing is perfectly in time or overproduced, and the song ends in a discordant and messy breakdown of each of the instruments. The following track “Garlic Soup” starts out with a catchy vocal melody, but only about a minute and half in the vocals are dropped and there is a two-minute interlude of feedback, splashing cymbals, and fuzz. The band shows that they know how to make noise and what to do with it. “Lisa Lives” is an eerie instrumental that sounds like it was recorded with a microphone in the middle of a practice space. It has what could be sunny guitars, but their notes are bent in such a way that the room starts spinning, and the drums don’t leave much room for comfort with their sloppy and disorganized pattern – more albums could use noisy interludes such as these.

After the first three tracks, the album takes on various different courses, offering an array of jams that range from noisy to clean. “Free Skate” has a dreamy emo-pop vibe to it, and again the vocal melody grabs your attention with the backing of proper instrumentals that at the very least will have you toe tapping. “Day Old Glory” has about thirty-second spurts of slower rock verses that break into more upbeat choruses that have a twee feel. “Dog Year” is the cleanest track on the album. The bass and guitar play along together, harmonizing to create a cheery melody, combined with a gliding synth that sounds straight out of old Sega or Atari games creates a strangely hazy and happy nostalgic track. The bass and guitar harmonize to create a cheery melody, the drums are light but still hold a beat that keeps the song moving, and there is a gliding synth that gives the track a strangely hazy and happy nostalgic texture.

Loose Tooth taps into a forgotten approach in album making that has rarely been seen or done properly since the golden age of lo-fi art pop. Big Day brings back that scatter-brained realistic feel of old Pavement records, where the music had feeling but it was never over-done or over-dramatic. The album has a sense of purity and rawness, and its variety give a sense of it being an “in-the-moment” style of music. It is all loosely tied together by Loose Tooth’s own brand of Philly-pop that is unpolished yet clean, noisy, and free. Their style and approach gives them plenty of room to create in, and Big Day shows that they utilize every inch of it.

Rating: 8.0/10

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