Starting Teeth: I Won't Do Anything I Can Do
Creaked Records

Hour-long debut full-length by electronic duo Starting Teeth—France-based Childe Grangier (aka Hopen) and Vancouverite Nathan Jonson (aka Hrdvsion)—that comes across like a demented cross between DAT Politics and Sutekh. I Won't Do Anything I Can Do sometimes suggests that Starting Teeth is still trying to figure out which direction to take: some tracks are heavily abstracted and experimental (the darkly atmospheric sound sculpting of “Concerning the Bombs” and “Burn the Roof Tropical,” a chopped-up and dizzying plodder) while others could pass for wacky club fare (the swizzling electro-disco of “xxDONE”). Cobblestone Jazz's Danuel Tate hitches a ride for the twisted electro-techno of “Tongue Journey” which inexplicably shifts gears in its second half by spilling vocoders over the Hawaii Five-O theme. Mexican newcomer Pinto guests on “Porcelain Shuffle,” which stumbles like a drunken giraffe until handclaps right the woozy animal, while the whistling stomper “Empty” twirls like an out-of-control carousel. Beats are often derailed by interference and tackled in mid-stride, a trick that pushed too far proves annoying when “Our Old Teen” is constantly ambushed whenever it struggles to gain its footing and regain momentum. The sputtering, stuttering club-funk banger “Ankles,” on the other hand, strikes the perfect balance between danceability and experimentalism. Cracked Records might be more like it.

February 2008