Reprobate Media

Newcastle Punks NO TEETH Offer Controlled Chaos which awaits on Their Debut Album ‘Decadence in Breeding’

Reprobate Media
Jun 14, 2024By Reprobate Media

Published in When The Horns Blow

In Henry Perlee Parker’s early 19th century painting ‘Eccentric Characters of Newcastle’, a ragtag assortment of figures - based on well known paupers from the city centre streets - gather close around the table at the centre of a dingy barroom. Dressed in ill-fitting outfits, they leer towards the viewer or at each other in a manner not so much threatening as slightly confused; a gathering of lost souls cast adrift from wider society, possibly from their own minds.
The spirit in which No Teeth, a collective of post-punk deviants similarly hailing from the banks of the Tyne, have created their debut record ‘Decadence in Breeding’ is not dissimilar to Parker’s - the threats of madness, addiction and venereal disease loom large.

Sing your Heart out!

 ‘I Am Not An Officer’, the latest forerunner to the full length release, promises good things for a band who have been around long enough now to hone their brink-of-the-maelstrom sonic assault. They are a band with a knack for drawing seeming chaos into something with structure, something which at times approaches melody but which at the last minute withdraws from such fripperies; like a misanthrope braving a social gathering for the free drinks before retreating, sated, into the night. 

The track is built on a distorted, roving bass line and a syncopated rhythm which holds the listener captive, trapping them in the path of the oncoming storm. The track tips a hat to No Teeth’s musical forebears, those art school bands who emerged from the post-industrial wastes of the North of England in the 1980s to push what could be termed ‘punk’ way beyond what had been previously envisaged - Wire, the early output of The Mekons and The Fall to name just a few - but also those outliers of North American hardcore pushing beyond the need to play ever faster.

If anything, that bass brings to mind the prog/jazz/hardcore madness of Canada’s NoMeansNo, though approached through the thematic lens of Hubert Selby Jr. And, whilst Parker’ painted his subjects with somewhat of a sympathetic eye, No Teeth are happy to let the air of menace around their creation build to nearly overwhelming proportions.

In combination with previous singles ‘I Can’t Explain (Why I Call It Love)’ and ‘A Horse Named Panty Raid’,I Am Not An Officer’ lays the groundwork for what may well be one of the most unsettlingly heavy punk records of the year. The DIY spirit is alive and well in the North East; and it is coming for you, whether you like it or not.

Words by Jono Coote