The (Finally) PopNarcotic Top 20 Of 2009 (Cont.)

February 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm (Uncategorized)

16. Police Teeth, Real Size Monster Series

Back in the day, bands like Bitch Magnet, Bastro, or Helmet roamed the land, creating deafening slabs of guitar roar. Over the years, these groups eventually left the scene for various reasons, changed their sound, “developed”, in other words. The little secret of the ’80’s midwest postpunk sound was that a lot of bands got the loud guitars part right, but screwed up by leaving the energy and lyrical “young, loud, and snottiness” of punk behind.

So when I say that a lot of the sound of Bellingham, WA band Police Teeth reminds me of that musical movement, I can already see you thinking “oh right; big chunky lurching guitar riffs with the occasional mathrock start-stop thing going on and not much else.” Well, what if we went back a little further. What if we invoke the name of the holy duo of that movement, of the two bands who got it exactly right? What if we mention the two bands who did the postpunk roar with all the energy and piss of the punks intact? What if I told you Police Teeth has a chance to be this generation’s Big Black? What if I said they might end up some day being as relevant as Fugazi? Now how much would you pay?

On Real Size Monster Series, there are some songs that just don’t work as well as they might. Let’s state that right away. But then let’s also say that a song like “Who Wants To Fuck A Millionaire” is worth seeking this album out all by itself. Let’s also say that “Bob Stinson Will Have His Revenge On Ferndale” sounds like Big Black covering a Finn’s Motel pissy rant on career-ism vs. a rock career (“Pee in the cup, No raise!” goes the chorus, followed by an epic bridge: “Do you remember the spreadsheet that you wrote up way back in 1993?/Nobody ever said ‘That changed my life’/Nobody ever said ‘That inspired me.'”)

Heed some advice, yo. Get on this bandwagon right now. Police Teeth’s irreverent, pissy, angry, hilarious guitar fury deserves to be huge and they might just get there. Thousands of people oughta be singing along to the chorus to “Northern California” at concerts. You know how you once felt like maybe The Hold Steady were writing this epic poetry about disaffection in suburbia? Well, this here is the real folk blues, y’know? The Police Teeth album might not be the very best record I heard this year, but it damn straight is the most exciting. In two years I’m going to look at this list and think “Shit, Police Teeth should’ve been in the top five.”

“Bob Stinson Will Have His Revenge On Ferndale”
“Jenny Nails”
“Who Wants To Fuck A Millionaire”
“Northern California”

The PopNarcotic Top 20 of 2009:
16. Police Teeth, Real Size Monster Series
17. The Faraway Places, Out Of The Rain, The Thunder, & The Lightning
18. Crocodiles, Summer of Hate
19. The Idle Hands, The Hearts We Broke On The Way To The Show
20. The Pretty Things With Phillippe DeBarge, S/T

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