Sound — 7
Chicago-based neo-folk trio Baby Teeth show an eclectic blend on their third album The Simp (Lujo Records) produced by Blue Hawaii. They harness avant-pop, nu-wave, classic glam-rock, and post-psychedelics reflective of David Bowie, Badfinger, and Transcendence. Baby Teeth's molts of dream-pop aspects recall Spoon, and their sessions of pub-rock resonate like the Irish-American band Black 47 and the UK's Nick Lowe and Ringo Star. Vocalist/keyboardist Abraham Levitan (aka Pearly Sweets), drummer Peter Andreadis, and bassist Jim Cooper formed Baby Teeth in 2004 and released their self-titled debut album in 2005 followed by their sophomore release For The Heathers EP. Their current album, the third in line, is melodically versed with mildly throbbing rhythms, bluesy toned chords, and vibrating choruses. The title track basks in shades of avant-pop liken to Broken Social Scene and glam-rock pulses studded like Mott The Hoople. Their track Looking For A Road has neo-folk registers coagulating the '60s psychedelics of Paul Revere And The Raiders with the modern country-folk stylizing of Mojave 3. The blues-rock swagger of Sarah featuring Bobby Conn is hypnotic with a space rock current liken to Pink Floyd. Bad Weather is a pub rock number with sweet feminine vocal harmonies performed by Kelly Hogan and featuring an elevating synth lick in the bridge. The nu wave atmospheres for Swim Team are akin to Scotland's Wet Wet Wet and The Psychedelic Furs. The orchestral-pop tooling on The Birds Are Crying has a Brit-pop groove, and Fool For You attaches neo-psychedelic hues with a bluesy gait reminiscent of Robyn Hitchcock and a dream-pop melody softened like Pedro The Lion.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are about the plight of the human condition when what you need does not come readily to you like in the track Looking For A Road. Abraham broods in the lyrics, They say be energetic baby, be yourself/But what they really mean is f--k the pain away like everyone else/Selling what you got but it never sells. The lyrics have a gloomy edge but completely honest and emotionally bare while the soul searches and speaks openly.
Overall Impression — 7
Baby Teeth have an affection for '60s and '70s psychedelics and blues rock, and incorporate those elements into their modern day sound reining in a revival of glam-rock similarly to the way the Stray Cats revived rockabilly in the early '80s. Baby Teeth is a modern sounding Bowie, Ian Hunter, and Todd Rundgren, heavy on the blues-rock and kneading in portions of avant-pop, neo-folk, and post-psychedelics. Their music grows on you. At first, the songs feel like copies of the past, but by the second listen you're hooked on them and able to appreciate the integration of the past with the present. So when parents say They don't make songs like they used to, sure they do. Baby Teeth took the past and brought it into the present reviving it's essence.