Monday, November 21, 2011

Album Review: The Loom - Teeth

I've wanted to extol the virtues of this here record to y'all for quite some time now, and it makes me so very happy to finally, finally, finally be doing so. The Loom, a live favorite of mine and recipient of their very own honorary day here at Fuzzy Logic, can also make some magic happen on record. This album of theirs that finally gets to see the light, Teeth, is twangily triumphant, roughly-hewn and resplendent, and just plain ole excellent.

From the beginning, Teeth shows the many charms of The Loom in beautiful, curled-edged sepia photograph clarity. The intro to first song "With Legs" creeps along as does the misty mountain morning, the banjo plucking akin to the slow climb of the sun over the hills or the throaty crow of the rooster. Throw in some haunting, slightly dark American gothic vocals, horns with a touch of melancholy, and a rollicking, lively second half of song, and you've got one heck of an introduction not only to the record, but to the band themselves.

I've talked about "Helen" before, but she warrants another nod here. The song really epitomizes The Loom's urban rustic vibe, lively yet somehow blessed with a touch of the pastoral. John Fanning has a voice perfectly-equipped to spin traditional country yarns, all moonshine strong and rich but possessed of an almost Everyman quality. His lady counterpart, Sarah Renfro, for her part is the perfect foil to Fanning, her voice too being dark, rich, and plaintively enchanting.

"The Curtain Calls" is a song I always enjoy hearing live, and on record it's a favorite as well. In tone it sounds a little sunnier than some of Teeth's songs, full of lively strains and lovely vocals. It's quite stirring that one, really gets the blood pumping. By contrast, "The First Freeze," which immediately follows "The Curtain Calls," is the late Fall to the first blush of Spring to its predecessor. It aches of the wistful whispers of bare branches and the loneliness of cold, deep blue twilights.

I've had this record for many months now, and my affection for it continues to grow. It is, friends, genuinely good music made by wonderfully genuine music. Teeth is a great record, and I sincerely hope you love it as much as I do.

mp3: The First Freeze (The Loom from Teeth)

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