Author: Samantha Weisenthal
Loose Tooth, a Melbourne based three piece band, has released their second album, “Keep Up”. The trifecta consists of Etta Curry (drums, vocals), Luc Dawson (bass, vocals, guitar, keys), and Nellie Jackson (guitar, vocals), a collective of long time friends with a democratic approach to songwriting and production. Similar to their first album “Saturn Returns”, released in 2016, “Keep Up” is reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney, the B52’s, and more contemporary femme punk bands such as Palehound and Downtown Boys. The album shares similar qualities to their label manager Courtney Barnett’s work, however their pop-punk effervescences makes the work distinct from other indie rock albums released this summer.
Like Courtney Barnett, Loose Tooth has a penchant for lyrical earworms, and an ability to turn vulnerable content into upbeat songs. These attributes have aided the band in their quest to reclaim femme punk from the massive pop conglomerates which have attempted to overthrow indie labels. The rambling manner in which the band recalls their experiences with friends and loved one’s is striking in its authenticity. The song Keep On displays deep cutting lines such as, “You will not be happy because you don’t know what you want” atop three part harmonies and an upbeat surf rock style. It is this contrast that sets Loose Tooth apart from the plethora of indie rock albums released this summer. Loose Tooth is working to create a distorted and dissonant sound, incorporating joyful bedroom pop alongside garage-rock baselines and Americana folk tempo’s. Songs such as Keep On exemplify the bands ability to control a song with upbeat harmony, whereas songs such as Asteroid flex their knowhow on keeping an album grounded through strong baselines and breathless vocals.
“Keep Up” has convinced me to search for albums and bands outside of the American realm, introducing me to work being made by musicians down under. The work, although similar to contemporary indie-rock god’s, is distinct in their palatable mixing of post-punk politics and 80’s rock jingles. From beginning to end the album constantly surprises and excites me. As the last song ends on a settling bass line filled with wind and percussion instruments alike, I can’t help but start from the beginning to enjoy the work again and again. If only we could hit replay on summer in the same way.