On the Up: Technicolor Teeth

by Steven Spoerl

While the last installment of On the Up covered Tenement at great length, it failed to go into a band that’s practically connected at the hip to that trio; Technicolor Teeth. Amos Pitsch, Tenement’s de facto bandleader, drums for it’s loud-as-fuck shoegaze counterpart (in addition to several other bands), which also happens to feature members that have played a fairly big role in Tenement’s already-impressive career. Bassist/vocalist Matt Stranger and guitarist Zacc Baehman (who’d previously played with Pitsch in the short-lived but dearly-missed Harlequin Kid).

Pitsch was a late addition to the band, though, as the drummer’s throne was originally filled by Colin Wilde (his is the face that graces the Teenage Pagans cover), who’s now pursuing music under his own terms under the moniker Black Thumb. It didn’t take long for anyone to realize the band’s potential, especially considering the strength of the first song they wrote together as a band was impressive enough to rank it as one of the best of the last few years.

That song, “Station Wagon”, wound up being one of the many highlights of their full-length debut, Teenage Pagans, which incited a small label war that saw that record being released on multiple formats in various years and labels after the band originally put it up (and had a label subsequently remove it following an official release) on their bandcamp. Since then, Teenage Pagans has found its way back to free streaming, the band’s toured as hard as possible (especially taking Tenement’s increasing popularity into account), they’ve released a reputation-boosting 7″ on Accidental Guest Recordings and contributed a song to that label’s wonderful Beyond Inversion compilation.

That much activity is causing a lot of people to take notice of this still-young band at an alarming rate. How this will end up playing foil to Tenement when one of them inevitably breaks through is anyone’s best guess. For now, it’s probably best to just enjoy the fact that both bands are cropping up on more than a few peoples radars. They’ve both got distinct sounds and are far more well-versed in their respective genres than most bands can claim to be. Technicolor Teeth more than deserves to be in the same conversation as its brethren and that should say more than enough.

Watch the band take a run through “Station Wagon” in an Appleton, WI basement at a semi-secret early show with Big Eyes (video courtesy of Heartbreaking Bravery) below.