March 19, 2008 | | 3.5

Tooth, Animality

Durham, NC based Tooth’s debut EP appropriately titled Animality really is a wild combination of beastly sounds. Mixing sludgy metal, with driving rock beats and a bit of a stoner feel, this quintet fills the 4 tracks on this disc with plenty of raw, chugging energy. Throughout this EP you’ll get 70’s inspired riffs,crusty bass lines and thunderous drums. There’s also a siable chunk of southern fried goodness that adds that little something extra.

Dual guitarists Rich James and Ben Wilson take their instruments deep into murky swamps of their home state, mixing thick, muddy riffs with rock fueled leads. Bassist Ryland Fishel and Noah Kessler on drums lay down thundering beats sure to level anything in their path. Throw in J-Me Guptill’s varied vocals and howls and you have one hell of a debut release from Church Key Records.

Moderate Monster
The opening song starts off with a little warped guitar as the drums slowly build. At the :40 mark the band shifts into a chugging, galloping searies of riffs and drum work as Guptill comes in with roughly sung vocals. There’s a good bit of 70’s stoner feel to the sludgy guitars on this one. Add in the drivig rhythms and head banging fun ensues.

The Stallion
“The Stallion” starts off softly with light bass work and whispered vocals for the first 50 seconds before big riffs and that gruff delivery from Guptill kick in. This one is a slow paced monstrosity of a track rife with churning guitar work and beefy drums. It’s got a bit of a Buzz-oven (sans samples) feel to it that’s really appealing.

Dogs of the Fight
I love the opening to this one. It definitely picks up the pace a good deal after “The Stallion” has ended. Galloping guitar work is definitely showcased in the first minute of “Dogs of the Fight”. Guptill stretches his vocal delivery with some higher pitched extended screams — it certainly helps mix up things.

“Ants” wraps up the EP with more beefy, sludgy goodness. It opens up with a punk feel to the vocals as heavy drum work and chugging guitars surround. There are some real interesting leads and high lights from James and Wilson throughout this track. The smoothly shifting tempo changes do well to keep the listener entertained.

~ ~ ~

Being a big fan of sludgy riffs and that dark 70’s stoner feel, Tooth’s Animality is a great debut for me. There’s more than enough variety and uniqueness within the four tracks on this disc to keep even the most discerning fan entertained and grinning with school girl glee.

Favorite Tracks:
All of them

Additional Notes: