The Best Albums of 2015, #17

band0117. Teeth of the Sea, Highly Deadly Black Tarantula (Rocket Recordings)

I consider UK foursome Teeth of the Sea to be one of the most exciting bands in existence today, but as much as I love their music the difficult thing is that when I include them on a year-end list, that means I have to write about a band that is often, ‘scuse the word, indescribable. Never mind the fact that Teeth of the Sea, being experimental and all, never play the same thing twice. Anyway, two years ago they wowed me with Master, a wicked, beastly opus, and now they’ve followed it up with a befuddling album whose title cheekily quotes Harry Belafonte-via-Beetlejuice, and again, whose compositions continue to expand the band’s sonic boundaries. If there’s one key indicator, however, it’s the growing reliance on electronic sounds. Teeth of the Sea have always been a rather cinematic band – the have played live scores to the movie A Field in England in the past – and indeed this album feels like a soundtrack to a film that hasn’t been made yet. “All of My Venom” is the one track that feels remotely connected to Master, creating tension that builds and builds, vamping on the same theme repeatedly like an old Goblin track. The electronic pulses and distorted screams of “Animal Manservant” truly throw the gauntlet down”, which then carries over into the hypnotic kosmische of “Field Punishment”. After “Have You Ever Held a Bird of Prey” whirrs and blurps away in its synthy ominousness, the 11-minute “Love Theme of 1984” sounds exactly that, an Orwellian instrumental casting a pall of paranoia and fear, enough to make you wish Teeth of the Sea could re-record a new score for the old film version of 1984. In the grand scheme of things, because it lacks the cohesive vision of Master this will probably be a minor work by Teeth of the Sea, but it could also be a crucial signpost that foreshadows even more unpredictable adventures in the future. On its own, though, it’s brilliant and challenging little 37-minute record. Any new music from this highly imaginative band is a gift. (Spotify) (YouTube)

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