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
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
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
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