Whether escaping a dank graveyard or bred within the toxic touch of a silvery full moon, Lupen Tooth is a proposition which once bitten by their horrorpunk ferocity, swiftly becomes a ravenous and lingering incitement. Certainly that is the case with the UK trio’s new EP Strawberries & Cream, five tales of corrupted flesh and demonic seductions making up a devilish and magnetic assault of punk fuelled rock ‘n’ roll.
Hailing from Bristol, Lupen Tooth consists of bassist/vocalist Tommy Creep (also owner of indie label Graveyard Calling), guitarist Klum, and drummer Nick Naylor. Their sound seemingly draws on inspirations from the likes of Misfits, Crimson Ghosts, and Blitzkid but also recalls essences of older schooled punk rock which is in many ways where the band stands out from the horrorpunk crowd. Essences of bands like The Ramones and The Damned hint throughout their songs, never an over powering suggestiveness but colluding with the band’s own raw sound and horror fuelled invention to create something organically compelling. It starts from the opening track of Strawberries & Cream, increasing in potency and enticement with each passing song until ears, imagination, and psyche are infested and consumed.
Opener Coffin Pallor instantly leaps at ears with a muscular bassline, concussive beats, and abrasing riffs. It is an imposing entrance only given greater force by the dual vocal assault of Creep. Their tones are vibrant yet solemnly monotone, a great mix as cold as the air circulating the track’s narrative and as addictive as the anthemic drive of the song. The bestial bassline from Creep prowls and flirts deliciously with the sonic flames coming out of the strings of Klum’s guitar, whilst everything combined brings small thoughts of US punks The Panic Beats.
The harsher heavy metal breeding of Moonlight Fury erupts next. Driven by the wolf inside, the song is soon a volatile punk stomp creating a dirty and magnetic stalking of ears. It does not quite have the spark of its predecessor for personal tastes, but still tears through the senses with a pleasing abrasiveness which triggers greater passion once it dips into a primal passage of bass sculpted and sonically infused preying of the senses. The track keeps the earlier installed appetite for the release fully engaged before Zombie Doll crowds and preys on the listener with its earthy riffs and brooding rhythms. It also just misses the final factor compared to the first and following songs in majorly igniting emotions but with a great caustic lure of vocals amidst stabbing beats it has satisfaction full.
The EP kicks up another gear with Bury You Deep, a psychotic romance engaging the imagination with a torrent of ear scrubbing riffery and an intimidatingly predatory bassline. Its chorus is simplicity but inescapably addictive, Misfits again coming to mind, whilst the rhythmic and sonic threat of the encounter worries and bruises the senses with horrorpunk rabidity.
The release ends as it started with another gripping peak and a track centred round a death inviting casket. The Coffin Is My Home which from its initial minimalistic vocal and guitar coaxing becomes a snarling and fiercely simmering rage of hostility and creative predation. It is a thoroughly thrilling enticement, with a prime hook within the verses which reminds of a well known classic punk offering but so far has irritatingly defied recognition. Maybe it is our imagination but nevertheless it only adds to the bewitching bait on offer from the best track on the EP.
There is no sweetness with Strawberries & Cream it is fair to say but plenty of mouth-watering and highly enjoyable horrorpunk bloodlust. Lupen Tooth is not a band to provide seducing flights of melodic beauty or thought involving technical intrigues, but for raw and honest, not forgetting instinctively exciting hell bred rock ‘n’ roll, they are a great soundtrack to your nightmares and horrific deeds.
The Strawberries & Cream EP is available now digitally and in various CD packs @ http://lupentooth.bandcamp.com/
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