A Journal Of The Dark Arts
Highly Deadly Black Tarantula is a stripped down, monolithic behemoth of a technoid dystopian ritual psychedelia record, that sounds brave in this Brave New World.
Teeth Of The Seas‘ breakthrough third LP, which helped introduce the world to a wider global audience, myself included – was the perfect hybridization of Carpenter-esque synth horrorscores and epic metallic guitar-centric Post-Rock – which offered a much needed re-vitalization to the fields of reissue culture, most notably soundtracks, psychedelia, and post-rock. After all, we all dig the past. We love what we love, and we all want to make something as cool and interesting as our ancestors. There is something noble about the royal vinyl treatments being given to cheapo garage synth horror movie soundtracks like C.H.U.D. where people are probably giving more thought and attention to the music than even the people who made it.
And yet, and yet… there is the omnipresent spector of Nostalgia, looming. We wonder if we’ve burned out all our wonders, and if we’re left forever sorting through the ashes, recycling the ruins, as we suffer after wave after wave of Transformer and Evil Dead reboots.
Something interesting needed to be done with out influences. They needed to become assimilated into who we are, what we do.
Teeth Of The Sea play a very particular kind of minimalist repetitious psychedelic rock, in a proud tradition of everyone from the Velvet Underground to Suicide to Spacemen 3 to now-labelmates Oneida. Their sound is highly technological and futuristic, owing to lavish and liberal use of a museum’s worth of classic analog synths. They’re all here – the deep space Prophet, the noisy buzzing Wasp. Things get even more nuanced and interesting with the addition of a plaintiff trumpet, which ranges from brash brass Spanish trumpet to a cool and muted Cool Jazz, which places Teeth Of The Sea sometimes even in the proximity of Doom Jazz.
Highly Deadly Black Tarantula opens with “All My Venom”, one of the album’s most vicious, pummeling, and unrelenting tracks. Prominent Spanish trumpet brings the inherent associations of Morricone and the Sergeo Leone trilogy, if he were to have directed The Terminator. The high lonesome Spanish trumpet seems to carry with it the image of the gunslinger, eyes squinting against insurmountable odds, which is further reinforced by a twanging surf-ish Western guitar.
All of this over sheets and sheets of coruscating noise.
With Highly Deadly Black Tarantula, Teeth Of The Sea have come as close as i’ve heard to a live brutal pounding industrial techno. Sparking hissing cheapo distorted synths meet ticking drum machines and layers of whirling loops. The machine noise brings with it images of the rushing future, the inevitable weight of impending event horizon collapse.
Electronic music reveals much with how people are dealing with the technology around them. When all is smooth = mnml techno, house, techno proper. All is going to plan. When all is fucked – militant drum ‘n bass, gross glitched out spastic digital collage, post-industrial electronics. Some of this can be heard on “Animal Manservant”, Highly Deadly‘s other great aggressive freakout. Throbbing machine bassline meets a static staccato white noise telegraph, erupting into furious guitar solos ominous distorted digital death metal shrieking. If Death Grips were to have worked with Dillinger Escape Plan on Miss Machine, this level of noisy chaos may have been reached.
Teeth Of The Sea’s blend of electronics and instrumental rock owes a debt to minimalist rock like Suicide and Kraftwerk, but TOTS’ take on it is more communal, hypnotic, and ritualistic. If Faust were to have gotten together with Neu! more often, perhaps it might’ve sounded similar to this.
Teeth Of The Sea seem part of an emerging brand of new psychedelia, which is why i’m personally so passionate about this band. A mutant electronic psychedelia, that speaks to internet oracles and white noise on bullet trains, personal electronics for occult purposes. Ancient wisdom popping up on every street corner. On living in the times of apocalypse and prophecy.
Along with other exciting visionary technological bands like the Gnod crew, the Thrill Jockey roster, and some of the kosmische hermeticists, this is an exciting time to be a fan of psychedelic rock!
If yr in London, you can see Teeth Of The Sea play with fellow Rocket Recording juggernauts Hey Colossus on 11.20, and should not be missed!