One of the most notable advantages of running a blog that mostly focuses on non-marquee names is the increased likelihood of being clued into promising bands at the earliest stages of their list. About a week ago, this manifested in the form of the premiere of Inside Voices’ extraordinary “Nomad: Begin” and now that aspect of this site is being brought to the forefront once again with another premiere from a band just starting out: Horse Teeth.
Boasting a sound that’s not too dissimilar from the finest crop of Saddle Creek acquisitions (Hop Along, Big Thief, etc.), the trio’s already showing remarkable poise for a new project. Beyond that, Horse Teeth — a band comprised of Andrew Stocker, Adeline Hotel’s Dan Knishkowy, and Minor Moon’s Sam Cantor — seems so assured in their songwriting that it’s difficult to imagine they’ll be able to expand on an already fully-formed identity as they push their way into the future.
Folk, Americana, blues, and punk influences are all evident throughout “Dark & Gloomy”, the band’s lead-off track from their debut effort, the Horse Teeth EP. Recorded during a January blizzard, the song offers a tantalizing preview of the band’s exceptional songwriting and compelling aesthetic. Striking the absolutely perfect balance between polish and grit, Horse Teeth manage to secure a level of production that goes beyond just complementing their sound and winds up ensuring it’s enhanced.
On top of every other promising quality the band shows in great abundance both on “Dark & Gloomy” and throughout the EP is their vice-like grip on dynamic flourishes. From the breezy, wide-open riffing that drives the track to the effective rests and crescendos, there’s never a moment anything less than utterly captivating. From memorable couplets to well-versed rhythm work, “Dark & Gloomy” isn’t just a solid introduction to a tremendous new band, it’s a genre masterclass. Don’t make the mistake of letting this one slip by unnoticed.
Listen to “Dark & Gloomy” below and keep an eye out for both its April digital release and the EP’s limited tape run, courtesy of Bad Look Records.