Red In Tooth are the future of rock n roll and in 2016 they will prove just what an important band they are with the release of their new EP “Closure” which is out today.
After releasing their amazing “Self-Titled” EP in 2014, Red In Tooth have reached an interesting point in their career were they had a choice to become “just” another metal / rock band or to become one of those genre defying acts like Tool, Mastodon, The Mars Volta, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead or The Melvins where they make a commitment to art as opposed to simple attack. Thankfully for the music world Red In Tooth have chosen art and “Closure” is the first step for a band on a new Journey to rock n roll and personal revolution.
The first major positive of “Closure” is that it is an exercise in emotion and the music flows together with a consistency and narrative that takes you the listener on a journey through many different emotional landscapes. “Closure” is a great example of a movement of music that succeeds in terms of its continuity.
Over the course of four tracks Red In Tooth cover a lot of ground from anthem soaked sludge metal to forward thinking psychedelic passages. Compared to their earlier material, a lot has changed. I wouldn’t even call them a metal band anymore. The music contained here has more in common with the type of psyche rock that Soundgarden released on “Superunknown” but add into that some more modern flourishes like the Explosions In The Sky and Mogwai dynamics. Furthermore I can hear how bands like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, Slint and Flaming Lips may have influenced their more traditional metal sound.
When you mix this together you get a sound that is more unique and more forward thinking than any other rock n roll band making music in Australia at the moment. The obvious influence circulating through the bands sonic blueprint though is The Melvins and although it isn’t an obvious one, the spirit of experimentation and “anything goes” approach that The Melvins have adopted their whole career to me has always run thick through Red In Tooth’s whole aesthetic.
“Closure” is not an album that has individual standout tracks as it is one movement of music that needs to be consumed from start to finish without distraction. It is a journey in the pain of modern living and the eruption of light and dark that arrives with broken hearts and general disappointment in any relationship breakdown. Sprinkle some fantasy storytelling in-between these real life musings on pain and you start to see a new landscape of colour explode out of the speakers. If you shut your eyes and go on the journey you start to unlock new emotional ground for yourself, like some kind of sonic drug you get transported to different dimensions of thought that help plug you into new levels of understanding all while you settle into your own pain and desire to evolve through it and reach some kind of next level.
Red In Tooth write the kind of music that allows your personal and spiritual growth to flourish, it is the same kind of journey that Tool take you on and it is one hell of a fucking racket they make taking you there.
The music has a horror movie creep mixed with a Murder Mystery steam. It is very soundtrack sounding but disconnects you from that standard idea of “movie soundtrack” music because this album is still communicated like a rock n roll record – this music is incredibly cinematic. While it remains emotional the music itself is not direct in terms of its lyrical delivery. The lyrics are more like mini-scripts that give the mood of each song a unique beginning, middle and end. It does wonderful things to your mind as you listen to it and you are consumed by every inch of it. Whether it is pure nonsense or something meaningful the surrealist nature of the music contained within “Closure” reminds me of a really mind-bending art-house film. In fact if I was to pitch a genre title for the kind of music made by Red In Tooth I’d call it “Cinematic Pop / Art-house Metal.”
You won’t leave with any of your questions answered, it’ll just drive you to ask more and more questions about “what does this all mean?” and that is a great thing to hear considering the amount of empty calorie rock music that exists in 2016. There is nothing clichéd on this EP and it has been meticulously sequenced with all 4 tracks moving together like one big composition.
Red In Tooth have made a mature, intelligent and more forward thinking EP with “Closure” and you have to ask yourself a question, do you want to waste your time with childish and foolish babyisms when it comes to music or do you want a real emotional experience that will plug you in to a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you? I know which one I’d prefer and I’m thanking the higher regions of thought that they sent out the right level of energy into the universe so that Red In Tooth could make a masterpiece like “Closure.”
By: Dan Newton