The cobbled streets of Edinburgh might be postcard picturesque on the surface, but Cheap Teeth dig into the darker side of things. Hailing from that Scottish city, the four-piece’s scraggly post-punk is an ode to the oddities and absurdities of life, delivered with a snarl and a scratch.
Fittingly, the group’s first steps have been anything but ordinary. Speed dating and Gumtree played a part in their formation, while their double A-side single, streaming below, is inspired by a stint in jury service, and the oddballs that they ran into.
Below, we’ve got the first play of ‘Fly On The Wall’ and ‘The Vicar’s Fingers’, a haunting two-part introduction to British post-punk’s grisly new flagbearers. Under the player, we sit down with Cheap Teeth to chat Gumtree, grimness and “Twitter beef with Palma Violets”.
Hi Cheap Teeth! Talk us through how you all came to meet – we hear Gumtree was involved, in some fashion?
“We actually came to be under rather strange conditions. Tom and Joe are childhood friends, but it wasn’t until the two Joe’s met on the street after a dodgy speed dating event that Cheap Teeth was born. That left us with the task of finding a drummer and after a few attempts we were forced to stick an ad on Gumtree.”
Apart from your drummer, then, what’s the best thing you’ve procured through the internet?
“It’s hard to decide, the internet can be a fruitful place. We got some tickets to see Television at the Bowery, some signed slip-mats from The Pharcyde and some Twitter beef off Palma Violets. All fairly entertaining.”
Both these tracks are somehow both catchy and incredibly grisly. How do you fuse those two sensibilities?
“We think melody is the key. The gristle is a nice contrast to having a clear melody, making songs all the more satisfying for us. A lot of the songs that we write start quite simply, so they have to be fairly melodic. The grisly bits probably just come from sounds we like and the way the song feels to us. Sometimes the lyrics will influence the environment that we wrap the melody in too.”
They’re somewhat influenced by stint in jury service too, right? Can you tell us more about that?
“Unfortunately we’re legally obliged not to discuss this matter any further. However all we can say is it took up seven weeks of Joe’s summer and provided us with some pretty dismal characters to write about.”
There’s some delightfully grim music coming from young British bands at the moment – bands like yourselves, Shame, Dead Pretties (RIP) and co. Why do you think there’s so much anger in the British youth these days?
“Not to sound disingenuous, but personally we’re not angry at all, not sure we have much right to be, although there’s lots of people who are and do. There’s a lot of change going on at the moment, good and bad. The British youth, including ourselves, aren’t scared of being passionate about what they believe in whether it’s anger or joy. We try to tread the line between the two. ‘Delightfully grim’ sums it up pretty well for us – this type music has always existed but our generation is connecting with it more and it’s being given the platform to thrive.”