The Teeth

Mercury Lounge; Fri 27

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Photo: Rebeccca MHB

Photo: Rebeccca MHB

In the early '90s, alternative rock was all about giving mainstream music the finger. But today's indie bands—take the New Pornographers and their sunny '70s sound, for instance—are increasingly conservative. They seem more interested in re-creating styles that have charmed the masses in the past than in railing against the status quo. While some artists chase the perfect pop song in earnest, the Teeth make a mockery of that pursuit. The Philadelphia quartet's EP, Carry the Wood (released last year on Park the Van), combines twisted, ramshackle folk with rhapsodic, '60s-style rock and the hilarious, half-serious falsetto of lead singer Peter MoDavis.

Much like label mate Dr. Dog (this bill's headliner), the Teeth revive the Beatles' spirit in an altogether off-color way; their songs could be outtakes from Lennon and McCartney's acid years. The band's lyrics aren't outrageously psychedelic, but they're just silly enough to come off as satire. On one of their tunes, "I Love You," MoDavis repeats the title phrase over and over before breaking into deliberately simplistic rhymes such as "It's my last try / And I won't lie / And I won't cry"—verses that make writing and performing competent pop seem utterly inane. Tonight, the Teeth will play material from their upcoming full length, due out later this year. The album should be a wild send-up...if they can record it without giggling to death.—Cristina Black

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