For Philadelphia’s best-kept secret, Loose Tooth, their journeys tell that of a troublesome tale. Line-up changes and relocations could have doomed a band so full of promise, but with the resilience of Larissa Sapko, and with a little help from her friends, Loose Tooth have prevailed, with ‘Big Day’ being their most cohesive effort to date.
Album opener ‘Sleep With The State Concept’ introduces a sleazy, shouty sound removed from the norm. Characterised by unusual guitar work it really is a case of “loose by name, loose by nature”. Frantic but lazy, chilled but full on, Loose Tooth create a confusion that, at points, sounds absolutely stunning. ‘Garlic Soup’ changes things up somewhat with a haunting drone before a powerful chorus takes charge while ‘Free Skate’ sounds almost like hybrid country rock.
Vocally, ‘Big Day’ is puzzling. At times they are fraught with emotion like in ‘Roach Motel’. At others, they almost sound like if Basement covered a bunch of Kings of Leon songs. Either way, they offer a perfect accompaniment to Loose Tooth’s out there composition. Nothing about this album is perfect if anything it’s a mess, but that’s what makes ‘Big Day’ so special.
The irregular funk drum beats of ‘Dog Year’, the instrumental stylings of ‘Lisa Lives’, everything sounds close to the edge of obscurity while simultaneously creating songs that captivate, innovate and are just a pleasure to listen to.
Loose Tooth are way off setting the world on fire and may well remain Philadelphia’s best-kept secret, but for those that discover ‘Big Day’, this band will become an obsession. Clear ability and an uncanny ear create an album that will be a hidden gem, one you will share with your friends, cherish, be inspired by, but that will ultimate be lost in a maelstrom of music that just never makes it to the masses. Don’t let that stop you. Sit back, turn up and enjoy.
‘Big Day’ by Loose Tooth is out now on Lame-O Records/Father/Daughter Recordss.
Words by Jay Harrison (@Just_Jay_89)