Here to incite you to commit all the bad devilish habits your mother warned you not to is the debut album from Milwaukee trio Devils Teeth. It is an encounter which has inhibitions flying in the front of sensibility and fresh addictions forging new trespasses of ill intent. Quite simply it is a bad assed stomp sure to lead all into glorious rock ‘n’ roll wrong doings.
Out of an already in place friendship, the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Jon Hanusa, vocalist/bassist Eric Arsnow, and drummer Chuck Engel emerged in 2016 as Devils Teeth. By that October they were already sharing stages with the likes of Dick Dale, The Blind Shake, Local H, The Toxenes, and Left Lane Cruiser. Their sound is a diverse and unpredictable hybrid of punk and garage rock with surf and psych punk tendencies which song by song across their first album, Suki Yaki Hot!, shows that even those tags do not really tell the whole story of an inimitable feral proposition additionally “channeling inspiration from Brucesploitation and Herschall Gordon Lewis films as well as surf and psychedelic sounds from decades past.”
From its first breath intrigue accompanies Suki Yaki Hot!, the first sonic sigh of opener Diamond Rio a scheming lure but it is when the raw strokes of guitar kick in that ears and instinctive rock ‘n’ roll passions are ignited. The rhythmic trespass of Arsnow and Engel is as unapologetically contagious as the eager throes of Hanusa’s guitar, all colluding to bring the listener to their feet to induce uncompromising swings through their hips. A fusion of traditional garage rock, mutant rockabilly, and psych devilry, the track is undiluted contagion as magnetically raw as it is skilfully woven.
The Junction Street Eight Tigers follows, a track inspired by Bruce Lee’s gang when he was in Catholic school aged twelve years old. It enters on a rhythmic grumble awash with sonic shimmers, breaking into an infectious prowl built on attitude and temptation; threat and confidence lining its swagger as the heat of Caleb Westphal’s sax adds greater lures to the outstanding encounter.
The diversity in the band’s sound is in full expression by next up Death Is Nimble, the third song a mix of funk and psychedelic tendencies around an instinctive punk rock heartbeat. A noise rock breath springs up from time to time too as the sultry climate of the track smoulders like a mix of Rocket From The Crypt and The Bomboras; captivation held in its palms in swift time before eventually the dark climes of Dirty Tricks bound into view with predacious attitude and a hungry crawl to its lively swing. Echoing those earlier mentioned inspirations, not for the first or last time there is a great B-movie feel to the character of the song; dirty adventure veining and lining its every exploit.
The outstanding Party Shark Shake is next up, the song as the band’s actual name triggered by a book, no surprise here, about sharks by Susan Casey. You can almost feel the warm liquor soaked sand between the toes as the track stomps through ears, the swell of its melodic tides dragging the imagination and hips into the dangerous currents and depths below the biting dynamics of the song. Across the riveting attack, it builds up to rousing crescendos though at no moment is it anything less than an over powering incitement to body, spirit, and imagination. Imaging The Ghastly Ones and The Trashmen in collusion with The Damned and The Revillos and you get a whiff of the album’s greatest moment.
Every one of its ten propositions is a momentous moment within Suki Yaki Hot! to be fair though as proven by the slow slung psychotic swagger that is Understanding The Hands Of A Killer. Its swing is pure devilry accentuated by the flames of sax and the vocal rapacity of Hanusa and Eric Arsnow amidst the cries of victims while its successor, Jet Jaguar is the spark to lust fuelled movements from body and vocal chords where never being a puppet has been so much fun and exhausting.
Who’s Laughing Now? is just as deviously compelling, rhythms and guitar weaving an inescapable hook rich trap infested with the similarly and ever potent vocal incitement of the band. It was another which grabbed a loftier foot hold in the unrelenting peaks of rousing pleasures in the album’s stirring landscape continued by the grappling holds and rhythmic attack of Sakuraba, a song bred from the inspiration of the Japanese MMA fighter and wrestler.
The album is concluded by People Of Earth, calm in relation to its predecessors but a menace lined psych punk croon with mayhem in its genes and contagion in its relentless rhythmic persuasion and raw sonic toxins. It is a superb final shanghai into slavery by the Devils Teeth sound and imagination; a devious machination for salacious times and unbridled pleasure, both the rewards for letting Suki Yaki Hot! infest ears and attention.
Among some real undiluted pleasures this year, the Devils Teeth debut is there at the head of the field.
Suki Yaki Hot! is released August 24th via Triple Eye Industries; available @ https://devilsteeth.bandcamp.com/
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