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Sink Ya Teeth
Sink Ya Teeth Julian Marszalek , June 18th, 2018 10:39

Readers with long memories and/or a keen sense of pop history will recall Bang Bang Machine’s magnificent ‘Geek Love’, a nine-minute epic that topped John Peel’s Festive Fifty in 1993. So wonderful was the record that Peel was moved to opine, “Even if they never made another record, they'll have achieved more than most of us do in our entire lives.” Sadly, they did and in the process turned into an unfortunate ersatz hybrid of U2 and Curve.

It’s a case worth recalling, especially when it comes to Norwich synth-pop duo Sink Ya Teeth. Last year’s ‘If You See Me’ was one of those singles that seemingly appeared out of nowhere to make you realise that actually, This is what you’ve been waiting for. A superb blend of melancholia, deep house and bpms pitched at tranced and zoned-out grooves, its pop sensibility was accompanied by a video depicting what looks like the best house party you’d hope to get an invite to. Or successfully crash.

So was this to be one-off? I need not have feared. Subsequent releases have proved that this was the start of something good while their live gigs revealed a duo with a personality that’s unconcerned with any notions of cool and more focused on fun and inclusivity. And yet for all that, there lies a sense of ennui at the heart of their music, a feeling of alienation that sums up the mood of the closing years of this decade.

Not that this is a depressing album; far from it. Sink Ya Teeth’s musical touchstones are 80s house, the TR-808 and shades of New Order and ESG, they share an aesthetic with LCD Soundsystem and Nick Höppner. ‘Petrol Blue’ is a case in point, fuelled by insistent beats and pulses, Gemma Cullingford’s economic yet effective bass playing and Maria Uzor’s voice, which somehow manages to sound detached yet engaged.

It’s this sense of juxtaposition – social awkwardness and feelings of loneliness set against the union of dancing – that beats at the heart of Sink Ya Teeth’s debut. You’ll find it in the beeps and bleeps of ‘Friends’ and the bounce of ‘Substitutes’. But there’s hope, too, as we’re assured on the hands-in-the-air banger that is ‘Control’: “Surround yourself with all your friends / Who vow to try to make amends with you.”

The only, minor caveat is that the songs end a little too abruptly. But there’s enough good music here to listen to over and over and to get you giddy about what Sink Ya Teeth will do next.