When you think of Wales, what springs to mind stereotypically would be Tom Jones, rolling hills, yellow flowers, cheese on toast, curiously phallic vegetables and violent ball sports. It’s fair to say most see the Welsh as chipper, positive folks, which makes their rich tradition of hateful and loud tunes seem all the more curious. It wasn’t a happy valley that Made Of Teeth’s second full length Wealth and Hellbeing slithered out from.
A fertile scene, it’s true, but also an incestuous one. Boasting current and former members of Taint, Lacertilia, Obey Cobra and chameleonic genre despisers Spider Kitten (whose frontman Chi Lameo also recorded the album), their pedigree explains the spit-in-your-eye polish they’ve executed this sophomore release with. Eleven tracks that run the gamut from snarling hardcore to bluesy hard rock to squealing noise, there’s a restless, relentless energy sewn throughout. Opener ‘Modr’ phases with weird noise before blasting straight in with chaotic, bouncing rhythms and clattering, can’t-sit-still drumming, overlaid with breathlessly screeched vocals. Similarly ‘Bite’ does just that, digging into a lurching, buzzsaw-bass heavy groove before picking up into a stomping drive that evokes Clutch. ‘Bombs’ squeals out a mess of guitar layers before whipping away at a breakneck pace, stuttering and stop-starting before closing in cacophony. ‘Banahogg’ shifts in on a tape rewind before exploding into sludgy riffing, slowing down deliciously into a slightly more stable, mid-paced rumble. ‘Reap’ stutter-steps, buoyed by pounding toms and grinding chords, Aaron Dallison’s hoarse, rabid guest vocals beaten back by galloping triplets. ‘Malwoden’ is ballsy as hell, locked in tight, all direct driving riffs like a less hurried Truckfighters.
‘Vladimir Bootin’ continues the trio’s tradition of political take-downs, a high-octane, bellowing sleaze fest with riffs for days. Closer ‘Good Fucking Night’ is blissful and triumphant, a smooth as fuck jaunt through layered vocals and ringing chords, a fist-in-the-air anthem. Wealth and Hellbeing is a solid example of a band ignoring any concept of ‘difficult second album’ syndrome; doubling down on the core elements of their sound, while stretching further into the realms of their varied influences. Made Of Teeth may not have reinvented any wheels here, but they’ve kicked one to pieces, sharpened the spokes, and are out for blood.
Wealth and Hellbeing is available via Everybody Loses Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Jay Hampshire