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Teeth Of The Sea – 'Master' album review

A bleak and unsettling post-rock record with one creepy eye on the dance floor

By James Manning |
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Teeth Of The Sea – Master
Festering since 2006 in the dank crannies of the London underground music scene, Teeth Of The Sea have played more than anyone’s fair share of dingy pubs, damp basements and half-collapsed old warehouses. The band even formed at Electrowerkz – a former sheet metal factory in Islington that also hosts the longest running goth club night in the world – and all that concrete, mould, dust and rust seems to have rubbed off on their music: a gloomy hybrid of Throbbing Gristle-style electronica, post-rock and hyper-creepy ambience. Basically, if Derek Jarman was making his nihilistic, post-apocalyptic London film ‘Jubilee’ now, Teeth Of The Sea would be a shoo-in for the soundtrack.

Their latest album is ‘Master’, and it nails that bleak aesthetic down even more harder. It’s almost entirely instrumental and deeply unsettling. Pressing play on the thudding, building rhythms of ‘Black Strategy’ or the fizzing pulse of ‘All Human Is Error’ is like suddenly finding yourself alone and tripping in an abandoned factory at 4am.

It’s not all ghosts in the dark, though: some of these tracks are aimed squarely at the dance floor, albeit at Torture Garden rather than Pacha. ‘Reaper’ (a soundtrack to a mashed-up version of Neil Marshall’s dystopian film ‘Doomsday’, which the band the band first performed in 2012) channels European EBM and The Prodigy, and when the vocoder kicks in on pitch-black disco track ‘Responder’, it sounds a bit like that Daft Punk/Aphex Twin collaboration that the world is still waiting for.

Notwithstanding a couple of weak points – a few tacky, dated-sounding soft synths and the occasional moment where the band push their aren’t-we-creepy agenda a little too hard – ‘Master’ is an impressive piece of work. Listen at your peril: you’re only a Chris Cunningham video away from a week of sleepless nights. Buy this album here

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