Teeth of the Sea: Your Mercury
We like this band. We reviewed their first album at the start of 2009, made it #3 in our chart of that year’s albums, and loved the EP they put out last February (and not just because it included something off the Flash Gordon soundtrack). Thankfully everyone else loves them too. And here’s the second album.
The band have clearly developed their sound, with this album adding more electronic noises and rhythms, found sounds, and ritual elements, making it both fuller and more varied. It’s a little less straightforwardly unhinged than Orphaned By The Ocean, less like a band in the grip of the kind of clarity that only industrial cider can bring. This, and their choice of gigging partners (Ben Frost, Mugstar), and taste in music (plugging Umberto, for example) suggests a healthily broad spectrum of influences and passions.
‘The Ambassador’ is perhaps closest in feel to the first album, with its almost dubby pace and effects. ‘Cemetery Magus’ is beatier, then spookier, moving towards John Carpenter electronics; the eight-minute title track (well, ‘You’re Mercury’) incorporates drones and the trumpet that stood out on the first track. ‘A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.’ would make a perfect Halloween soundtrack, but is also a perfect bridge from the last album to this one, mixing both enormous guitar noises and expansive electronics. ‘Red Soil’ works around a repeated, fragmentary dialogue of the sort that is initially just irritating and then becomes something feverishly hallucinatory through nothing more than difference and repetition. It still finds room for a satanic Hammer choir and bludgeoning riffs, though.
I’m not sure that a polite review can really do this justice, so I’m going to call on the master of the unnameable. H. P. Lovecraft’s ‘The Festival’ concerns an innocent’s return to his ancestral town in the snows of mid-winter, where he is drawn into an ancient and unpleasant Yule rite. If Kingsport’s local flute player ever needs a night off, I can recommend Teeth of the Sea as the new house band for the Festival:
“Then the old man made a signal to the half-seen flute-player in the darkness, which player thereupon changed its feeble drone to a scarce louder drone in another key; precipitating as it did so a horror unthinkable and unexpected. At this horror I sank nearly to the lichened earth, transfixed with a dread not of this or any world, but only of the mad spaces between the stars.” (H. P. Lovecraft, ‘The Festival’, Weird Tales 1925)
A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. – Teeth of the Sea – Your Mercury