By Justin Hurst-Kehus, Rock At Night Detroit
Music Review: Cheap Teeth’s single ‘What a Feeling, What a Day’ – Release date August 11, 2022
I’ve always loved how rock in the UK and America have a distinct flavor. I especially find this to be true when it comes to punk rock. The Ramones and The Buzzcocks feel quite different. I wouldn’t necessarily call Leeds’s Cheap Teeth a punk band, but their newest single “What A Feeling, What A Day” definitely contains the influence of punk, and masterfully combines the flavor of American and UK punk and garage-rock into a coherent, highly varied song.
Cheap Teeth continues to show the ability to create dynamic and interesting garage rock with this new single. Part of the way I would describe it is if Parquet Courts and IDLES got together to write their own version of Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side.” I love the strange stories the lyrics tell, and I was immediately captured by the opening lines of the song
“The sun shines on the nose that smells the morning / You can’t resuscitate the life of a man whose life is boring.” Their ability to say something that feels familiar but in a new, and thought provoking way shows a maturity to their songwriting that continues throughout the song. As the song continues to move, breaking from its initial chorus and verse structure whose themes reminds me of “Walk On The Wild Side,” it breaks into a new section driven by the same measured and steady drum beat with lyrics describing a falling out with religion because of a deceitful and inadequate father figure with a final section that suggests “God is a fake, god is a fool,” perhaps because the authority figures that push it are often those things.
I’ve made it quite clear I find the lyricism of this song to be quite stellar, but the music itself is absolutely no slouch. I love the expressiveness of the vocalists’ low tone, and the backup vocals always enforce instead of taking away from the main vocalist. The drums are consistent and steady, with a satisfying bass that feels like a heavily pounding heart. The clean, and slanted guitars remind me of Parquet Courts (and I mean that in a great way) and I love the vibe the soaring organ creates.The bass brings an expressiveness to the lower end of the song that creates dynamics where frantic drums normally would, and I enjoy the way this creates more priority on bass in the mix. All this along with the clean, but not completely washed of character production creates a song I think I’ll be spinning for a while.
Cheap Teeth continue to prove themself highly competent and mature garage rock songwriters with thought-provoking lyricism, and varied instrumentation. “What A Feeling, What A Day” is an excellent addition to an already excellent catalog, that feels like a truly even mix of UK and American influence, blending the sounds of Parquet Courts, IDLES, and a bit of Lou Reed into a garage rock bop.