This punk rock supergroup features ex-members of Crux, Empty Tomb, Cicero, and Gov’t Hate Mail. So you can see why I was excited about hearing this disc. The EP contains 7 songs, clocks in around 17 minutes, and comes as a pro-CDr in a standard jewel case with a single panel insert with credits and no lyrics.
Musically what we have here is no frills punk rock and roll. It’s not quite as spastic as Crux, and doesn’t have the hardcore/thrash leanings of Empty Tomb. When comparing to its members previous projects, it’s probably closest to Gov’t Hate Mail, but just slightly heavier than that project.
There are no lyrics included in the liner notes, but vocalist Paul Hedrick’s (also of Cicero) style is clear enough to hear songs that are mostly about relationships and other ‘real life’ topics. While Hedrick’s voice is recognizable from his other band, he takes a different turn here in Teeth for Eyes. Where there his vocal approach is introspective and emotional, here it takes a darker, angrier tone, especially when paired with Greg Dimick’s (ex-Crux, ex-Empty Tomb, ex-Gov’t Hate Mail) guitar riffs. Mike Boddington’s (ex-Crux, ex-Empty Tomb) drums are as solid as ever, and provide a great foundation for the whole quartet. Greg and Mike also wrote the music, and Mike co-produces the album with Vancouver WA-based Kevin Nettleingham. Rounding out the band is Otto Dimick (Greg’s son) competently fulfilling duties on bass.
A couple of tracks have an almost ‘alternative rock’ feel, and you can tell that some of these guys have been playing together a long time, specifically since the 1990s, as Teeth for Eyes definitely has a 90s punk vibe going on—drawing equally from punk rock, hardcore punk, groove metal, and even grunge at times. “Fledgling” has some hardcore influences, and probably comes closest to the speed of Crux, while “Light and Dark” has some clean, grungy riffing, and then goes into a really cool almost surf-punk style bass-led outro. “You’re No Superman” is probably the poppiest overall, but ‘pop’ doesn’t really do justice to the band’s sound. Again here we’re reminded of mid-90s punk-inspired alternative rock. “Cyclist” is the heaviest and almost has a grunge/metal feel with a slow, heavy guitar riff. In fact the main riff could have served for a mid-90s Spirit-filled hardcore intro if the song ever broke into a fast-paced two-steppin’ section or some hxc breakdowns. It’s actually more effective that it doesn’t, because the song’s restraint is its unique gift to the EP.
While there’s nothing revolutionary here (that’s not what they’re going for), this is a solid contribution to a punk scene in much need of revitalization. Teeth for Eyes doesn’t really sound like anyone, except for perhaps the members’ other bands, and even so there’s no carbon copy here. Here’s hoping this release isn’t the only one to come. And wouldn’t it be great to see them live at some point?
Links for ordering are found below, just beneath the album rating.