EP REVIEW: Perfect Teeth – ‘You’re Alive, But Not Living’


Perfect Teeth have a sound that isn’t exactly easy to sum up in that way that music reviewers love to; the two or three word phrase. It lies somewhere in the intersection of alt-rock, indie and punk; it’s raw guitars, loose as fuck with a vocal that comes with a degree of casualness that is wonderful to behold.

The opening track ‘Fabric Of Your Clothes’ somehow manages to combine all three of the ingredients into something that also comes with more than a hint of post-punk. And that vocal, people, the sneer of Iggy directed at suit wearing office workers who grind away at their lives ‘alive, but not living’. Hard guitars drenched in effects. A tune that drills in its way into your head but not directly, it turns corners, it twists.

There is more of that classic indie feel with ‘Blue Paint’. The guitars come with more of a jangle, a chime. It’s fast and raw. Perhaps indie-punk. It is, in short, a joy,

‘It’s The Hope That Kills You’ sounds a bit like The Buzzcocks playing classic scything post-punk. It’s loose as you want with a beat that doesn’t stop, trashing guitars with these odd moments of wired guitar sounds. It sounds as though it shouldn’t work but it does.

The rather fantastically named ‘Euphoria (A Love That Feels Like Home)’ adds in another sonic ingredient – shoegaze – it mesmerises with waves of beautiful guitar. A vocal that is so different from the songs preceding it, it surprises. It’s so wonderfully ethereal.

Quite what Perfect Teeth think they’re doing I have no idea; they’ve taken a variety of sounds that would normally require a degree of musical tautness and approached it with an attitude that might be described as casual. The songs all sound as if they are right on the edge of ragged. But, and it’s a big but, it works, it works beautifully. That looseness is part of that beauty.

What remains here to say is that the songs are brilliant. The words intrigue and make you think. So while you may get lost in the music – and you will – take time to actually listen to the words. The songs explore ‘the idea of going through life without appreciating the little things that make a life worth living. Addiction, depression, abusive relationships, and the suicides of people around vocalist Zak are the subject of the songs on this EP, and the hopeful lesson that comes from it is whilst terrible things will happen in life and that’s okay to not be okay; it will get better and whilst you’re alive, you better be living’.

So while I have not the slightest idea what Perfect Teeth are doing, I absolutely adore what they do. It’s organic, it’s real. It’s not made to fit into a musical niche. I suspect that the band just make music they like whatever it sounds like, and this is a fabulous thing.

This EP is gorgeous. It sits, this late in the year, somewhere in my list of fav releases this year. It is for fans of guitar based music, for fans of music that doesn’t sit in an easy niche and, of course, for fans of beautiful music. Go listen.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.