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Baby Teeth
The Simp
Lujo Records

Baby Teeth's latest album The Simp is an acquired taste. The rock trio from Chicago, Illinois twiddles with a variety of music sorts that spasms rock music with gypsy punk, country, folk, disco, and theatrical-pop. They have a style of fun rock that has reflections of '70s stimulants like The Kinks and David Bowie and modern day Gogol Bordello and The Flaming Lips. Produced by Blue Hawaii, The Simp has catchy melodic tunes which are accessible to audiences and yet have a degree of complexity that makes them stand out from the ordinary and blanched. One thing is for sure, all of the ten tracks on the record have something that catches the listener's attention.

The '70s style rock rhythms on the title track are catchy, colonizing a contemporary threading through the classic seams like interfacing The Kinks with The Kooks. The lightweight fun rock motifs on tracks like "Swim Team" and "Taste The Wine" are synchronized with gypsy-punk inclined rhythms. It's been noted that comedy disguises much heavier issues, and Baby Teeth uses fun lightweight rock beadings to disguise deep seeded conflicts embedded in the psyche from childhood which still cry out for resolution and closure, like in the lyrics for "Swim Team" which tells, "Pointed questions ain't the cure/ Our dialogue is stunted stiff and still/ You didn't like the cure well it's a shot/ You either give it all or it's just rot/ You're either on the swim team or you're not/ Leaving at seven, home at eleven/ I got the news dad, sorry you feel bad."

Baby Teeth's band members Abraham Levitan (lead vocals, keyboards), Peter Andreadis (drums), and Jim Cooper (bass) create cool simmering breakdowns, striking climaxes, and salient sing-along choruses. With the added instrumentation of viola/violinist Andra Kulans, cellist Tomeka Reid, trombonist Nick Broste, clarinet/saxophonist Dave McDonnell, and trumpeter Patrick Newbery, the rock cambiums sprout out orchestral lifts shown in the theatrical numbers like "Prove It On The Stage" and "Intolerable." These tracks have a fun rock exhibition reminiscent of The Dresden Dolls and The Flaming Lips. The vocals are dramatized and the melodies are trimmed with a musical glint like the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Jesus Christ Supestar as synth effects burst into glittering showers and the rhythmic beats keep the sprays neatly compacted and sliced into sections.

The upbeat rockabilly tune "Diaghalev Was Right" has high volts of soul/funk in the rhythm and swami horns, while the tinge of country in the folk-rock panning of "Looking For A Road" has chord expressions akin to John Keenan and Dale Watson. The dance treatments on "The Birds Are Crying" are frighteningly typical of '70s disco hall music and the downy synth loops on "God Girlfriend" are cushioned with the ginger tempo strides of '70s soft rock, like Firefall and Bread. The final track "Wolves" concludes the album with fun rock grooves and gypsy-punk chinks in the movement shifts.

The Simp has melodic composures and fun rock episodes with emotive vocal moves. Joining the trio on their tour is guitarist Michael Lyons. The Simp is Baby Teeth's second full length album and third release following the band's debut album The Baby Teeth Album in 2005 and their EP For The Heathers in 2006. The Simp keeps true to Baby Teeth's beginnings but still allows the band to evolve into something more. Their integration of music genres gives their songs more dimension and broader textures. The album is a lot of things, none of which is bland.

-Susan Frances

Track listing:
1. The Simp
2. Swim Team
3. The Birds Are Crying
4. Taste The Wine
5. Looking For A Road
6. God Girlfriend
7. Diaghalev Was Right
8. Prove It On The Stage
9. Intolerable
10. Wolves

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