Far-Out Fangtooth's Top 10 influential songs

Far-Out Fangtooth

Far-Out Fangtooth

Getting 'way far out' with Far-Out Fangtooth. (courtesy of the band)

Our Sophmore LP, Borrowed Time comes out October 29 on Siltbreeze Records. It is also our second release for Siltbreeze, who put out more records from Austrailia/New Zealand than from our hometown Philadelphia (where it is now based). For our Selector piece, we decided to pick 10 influential songs for Far-Out Fangtooth. Five being 60's psych songs(1960-69), and the other five being post-punk songs(1980-89).

PSYCH:

This sci-fi spiritual features a groovy Eastern-centric riff that Fangtooth will frequently bust into while jamming at rehearsal. The minimal brooding reverb of the Timpani drum is awesome. Influenced by atmospheric qualities of late-60s era Pink Floyd, we focused on sonic consistencies, to tie the songs together on Borrowed Time. This was accomplished by working with our friend and producer, Justin Pittney, who was our knob-twisterin' guru. Sprawled amongst a giant carpet of effect boxes, he contributed live mixing of oscillating tones and airy weirdness.

The Deviants #3 is a record that is immediately recognizable by its striking cover (a crying nun eating a popsicle). It's an excellent record that has political and spoofy Mothers Of Invention vibe. The band is kind of lumped into the garage realm, but this record is way more dark-psychedelic and anarchic than just a simple garage-rock definition. The bridge in “First Line (Seven The Row)” has a killer fuzz guitar solo jamming over a mid-tempo blues. Might not be the best record to listen to stoned on an airplane – but does the trick inside the home.

This theatrical performance features Twink (former drummer of the UK psych band Tomorrow) miming out the main character of this album. The experimentation in production is always mind-blowing, especially when you focus on the fervor and conviction of the lyrics. In “Private Sorrow”, the lazy sneers of the vocal phrasing (in the spirit of SkySaxon) speak directly to a dark psychedelic, with the opening lines, “Heaven's rain fall upon / Faces of the children who look skyward / Twisting metal through the air / Scars and screams / So you might know his Fury / Seashells whistle / Let your mind drift away…”

A creepy gem about a female gardener and her mysterious assistant. The thriving twinkle of the harp, paired against the menacing delivery, doesn't make your mind go to a settling place. This is what we go for when trying to create the Fangtooth vibe. It certainly will zone you out, but also gives you a specific feeling. If we're writing a part that sounds too pretty, we'll usually add an extra chord to offset the mood. This song doesn't really make you feel good. Some people like that. We do.

As smooth as Arthur Lee's voice can be, there is something particularly stomach churning about “A House Is Not A Motel”. It's the second track off of the amazing and versatile, Forever Changes. This tune has great emotional tension the whole way through. Images of yearning and paranoia never let up. The song commences with an anxiety attack of a guitar solo, while screaming “ughs!” & “o0os!” feed the fire of urgency. Acid-prophecies of a future long to be fulfilled; “You are just a thought that someone somewhere somehow feels / you should be here”.

POST-PUNK:

Death Cult is the middle of the triptych of what eventually turned into The Cult. The transition being Southern Death Cult – to Death Cult – to The Cult. “Godz Zoo” is the perfect mix of post-punk/goth and is before they got into the whole post-rock/to almost 80's hair phase. Death Cult also has that rawness, but is still more clean than SDC. The pick for DC over the Cult is mainly on timing— this is where Bill Duffy was introduced to the band and really transformed them from being just another early 80's k-mart goth band, to something more of their own. And in gear wise-adding that Roland-120, Which for Borrowed Time was used heavily on all tracks, giving it that distinctive chorus sound we love from this genre.

Raw cavemen instrumentation led by DIY figurehead Calvin Johnson's signature beatnik monotone drone. We used to cover this when we started playing shows – when Fangtooth was a two piece. Beat Happening were defiantly a bonding band for all of us once the expansion to a four piece was made – and we eventually put our own spin on their song “Bad Seeds” for a while as well.

This Beat Happening performance on this public access TV exemplifies their dont-give-a-fuck attitude. It's self-expression without trying to do anything particular and without hesitation. Black Candy is primitive and weird with no gimmicks; it's Punk without being angry.

A nice Australian nugget from the post-punk era of the Church. They kind of are lumped as a big influence to the early 90's Neo-Psych thing, more so than what all of that shit is considered now. But labels aside, “Fly” is the first track from the Church's 3rd album Seance, and like most of their album openers, it just has instant staying power. “Fly” is great because of its swirling but not overpowering atmospheric synths and swirling chorused guitar. We have Seance on cassette, and played it in the van endlessly during our trips while writing Borrowed Time.

Sounds like one part Suicide, one part Velvet Underground, but mostly like scary German guys in sunglasses. We discovered this band a few years ago, and have been super into them(especially Juergen Gleue's solo moniker “Phantom Payn”). The song starts with bleak, nightmarish lyrics in a thick accent over an ice-cold drum machine, and is followed by a victorious glam guitar riff Lou Reed can suck on. While ranting about various chaos, they name drop “96 tears” by Question Mark and the Mysterians. 39 Clocks re-appropriate their repetitive garage rock rhythm, and elevate it to a lo-fi, hi-art genre that's hard to describe.

AA are a post-punk band from Belgium that self-released an EP and then disbanded. AA's Essential Entertainment is one of those lost EP's and “Suicide Fever” is the instantly drab but infectious song from that EP. It's pretty mid-tempo and doesn't really grow in sound, it actually cuts out where you would think it would expand which makes it way more memorable and sticks with you. When our band first formed we used to make mixes for each other, either for what we were into at the time or what we wanted each other to like. This song was passed around a lot and all of those songs from that EP for that matter.

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