Hands & Teeth
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Hands & Teeth

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Hunting Season's Open"

With four members sharing a living space, it could be said that Toronto experimental pop band Hands & Teeth are always working. As drummer Adam Kolubinski puts it, the living situation is “sort of like a conduit for us to get [music] in front of each other faster than if we only had, you know, one day a week or two days a week” to practice.

Maybe that helps explain how, in a relatively short amount of time, Hands & Teeth have become one of Toronto’s most talked-about live acts. Their début EP, Enjoy Your Lifestyle, was released in late 2010 and on its buzz they booked high-profile gigs at both Canadian Music Week and North By Northeast. On Tuesday night at the Horseshoe, they released their highly anticipated follow-up, the full-length LP, Hunting Season.

Enjoy Your Lifestyle shoehorned an impressive amount of music into a scant 23 minutes, with interesting parts and pieces stacked up together into surprisingly cohesive songs. Hunting Season finds the band further exploring those same complex structures, but reaching further back beyond ’80s and ’90s alternative to dig out and explore whole sections of vintage surf, pop and dance music. These new ideas help to keep this LP its own creature, rather than just a longer version of their first release. The songs are denser, with more interesting rhythms and wider shifts between speed and mood.

Hands & Teeth’s set began with “Sound of Hamilton,” a gripping opener featuring Jeff Pinto’s and Natasha Pasternak’s voices soaring through a wildly sliding violin and spy-movie guitar leads. They played cuts from the new record as well as songs such as “Rainbows And Unicorns” from Enjoy Your Lifestyle as they threw quips to the audience throughout.

Having 4 singers in the group–frontwoman Natasha Pasternak is sort of the first-amongst-equals, with Kevin Black, Jeff Pinto and Derek Monson also handling lead-vocal duties–Hands & Teeth are in a great position to recreate almost any studio texture they desire, live. It’s refreshing to hear a group with so many talented singers actually exploring how their voices can work together within the context of pop music. With multiple vocal lines constantly weaving in and out of songs like ‘Missing’–which started with the crowd slapping their thighs and clapping their hands in time–this band sounds not just full, but surprising too.

“This is a stacked bill!” keyboardist/singer Jeff Pinto remarked, and he was right: also on deck were Toronto-based Army Girls, a group whose charisma and jagged musicianship made them impossible to miss. They blasted through songs off their EP, Close To The Bone, as well as a few others I hadn’t heard before. Unfortunately, just as the crowd had begun to gather to listen, Army Girls finished their set and walked offstage. I’m not sure if they ran out of material, or if they just had a short set, but they definitely left the audience eager to hear more. - Sounds Like Work

"Album Review Hands & Teeth "Hunting Season""

Ahhhh…that’s the stuff.

A mellow, ethereal guitar noodling blossoming into a swirling burst of winter-warming melodies. This is our introduction to Hunting Season, the debut full-length album from Hands & Teeth, an unabashedly professional pop band with heapings of energetic edges to keep your ears from ever turning away.

And when Natasha Pasternak chimes in halfway through the opener, ‘It’s All Coming Back’, you realize something: This is a band that could, with its many secret weapons, overwhelm the brain of the listener as he or she tries to take in each musical muscle flexing, quickly leading us away from the central importance of rhythm, melody, cohesiveness, balance, fun, etc., but no: It’s got all that, too.

The band plays hopscotch with styles and familiar rhythms, moving just so to the left, right, up, or down when you’ve got the next bit pinned down.

But because they’re juggling the fundamental so deftly, it’s never wholly alien, never a moment where something goes wrong so you scrunch up your face and wonder where that came from and how it exposes the musical mechanics behind the velvet curtain of careful production.

Doesn’t happen with Hunting Season. If it’s paint-by-numbers power pop, the overall picture is so great you never notice the strings (it’s even worth the mixing of metaphors). The title track showcases a well-executed onslaught of vocalists assuring us that they, “are glad to meetcha’”, and with it they turn an already catchy rock song into a tent show revival. Sharp guitar lines and easily excitable drums follow this lead, dancing in and out of the bubbling rhythm. By typical expectations, it should collide into nonsense, but it never does. The broken loudspeaker vocals of ‘Sounds of Hamilton’ suit the dark underbelly of the song perfectly. And kudos to whichever band member (Tash? Pinto? Kev? D? Eh?) thought, ‘Hey, let’s add a seemingly random piano outro to ‘All That Was’ and make it work’. And good job to the rest of the band going, ‘Done!’

“She’ll cut you down, when you come around,” sings Pasternak on the start-stop tango of the wonderfully named “Le Petit Voleur”, her powerful yet playful vocals soaring over a Wilco-like groove. A song that conjures up the image of lovers close but always circling each other, the lyrics revel in the art and thrill of the hunt, while the piano-guitar interplay halfway through the track is as light and graceful as a trapeze act.

At this time in complementary reviews of this sort, the writer is supposed to make some sort of grand-ish statement, how the music fits into or challenges a local music scene, a genre, or a greater philosophical/current events issue. But all I want to think about is how many people are singing just perfectly on ‘Missing’. Or how ‘Parallel States’ suggest to me a beautiful hybrid of George Harrison’s ‘Wah-Wah’ and the rougher stuff off of Feist’s Metals.

I typically avoid listening to the radio very often (because I like to listen to music), but I don’t understand why this album wouldn’t be all over the airwaves. This is the sort of music that I feel people would want to hear as they go about their daily public lives, not simply sitting here absorbing aural fireworks in their living room like I am. I don’t know what could possibly cause any reservations by the music world at large. This could be the silver lining of the cloud that is office drudgery, traffic, and waiting rooms. It’s music to feel better to.

There are guitar riffs, jangling pianos, ooh-ooh aah-aah sing-a-long backing vocals, and melody atop melody. It’s so accessible it might just hold your hand or give you a high five halfway through. It’s the middle of the road if the middle of the road was fun and interesting.

And maybe that’s the problem with pop (ah, here’s the grand-ish statement! Just two paragraphs late) in the early twenty-first century. It’s put the bar so low that practically anything can trip over it and get recognized as such. By trying to not alienate anyone, it comes off mediocre for everyone. But just because that’s the current case, it doesn’t have to be, and Hunting Season is exhibit A. It should make the rest of whatever counts for Top 40 that much more ashamed of itself.

‘Song 8’ closes the album with everything and the kitchen sink crammed into three and a half minutes yet it’s still able to sound like an emotional slow burner.

And it’s about this time when realize that the way I have been raving about this album is getting sorted of unwieldy, where it seems likely I might next claim that Hunting Season can help you get in shape, unclog your rain gutters, and succeed in business without really trying.

Well it won’t do any of those things. I can’t even claim that it’s going to make Hands & Teeth superstars. What I do know is that the album consists of eight well-written, well-performed songs of love and excitement by five very talented people. It leaves you wanting more, and going back to the first - The Abandoned Station

"Five Song-writers, One Cohesive Sound"

Whoever decided that a band needs a distinct leader forgot to tell Hands & Teeth.

When they first came together, every member of the Toronto five-piece had hands (and teeth) in other, more rock-oriented projects. They started H&T as an excuse to practise more delicate, communal-based songwriting.

“There are four members who were creating music on their own before we started, and they continue to do so,” explains towering singer/guitarist/keyboardist Jeffrey Pinto over coffee at Moonbean Café in Kensington Market. “But Hands & Teeth is taking up the lion’s share of everyone’s attention right now.”

Though everyone contributes to singing, songwriting, producing, engineering, artwork or all of the above, their ability to blend multiple voices with tight compositions and unified arrangements helps them avoid a “too many cooks” situation. Songs occasionally abruptly change direction, but that doesn’t dilute their signature sound. In fact, plurality is the basis of that sound.

“None of us can write a Hands & Teeth song on our own,” explains Pinto. “I’ll work on one and say, ‘That would go well with the band,’ but it doesn’t become a Hands & Teeth song until everyone’s had their input. Otherwise, it doesn’t sound like our band.”

That sound, as represented on their upcoming self-released debut LP, Hunting Season (out Tuesday), is dense with multi-part harmonies and carefully constructed arrangements despite the disc’s mere half-hour running time. But they’re also careful to err on the “pop” side of “art pop.”

“We do want to try to fit things into pop songs that haven’t been put into pop songs, but we want to be accessible, too,” Pinto explains.

It’s a “finessed” and “often time-consuming” way of recording, says Pinto, but it helps that the band’s studio is located in the same Parkdale apartment where four out of five members also reside (all but Natasha Pasternak).

“I’ll admit there are times in the recording space when you don’t know whether it’s the person’s suggestion you dislike or the dishes in the sink,” says Pinto. “But we’re all so into the project that it’s only a momentary irritation and then you get back to work.” - Now Magazine Toronto

"Top Ten Local Release of 2011"

“Not just another adorable-mixed-gender-high-energy-hipster-bait-brouhaha. They’ve been building buzz & receiving high-indie-praise for a reason.” - Meghan Warby, Without a Yard

"Top Ten Local Release of 2011"

“Not just another adorable-mixed-gender-high-energy-hipster-bait-brouhaha. They’ve been building buzz & receiving high-indie-praise for a reason.” - Meghan Warby, Without a Yard

"Hands & Teeth - Enjoy Your Lifestyle"

This fledgling Toronto group were reportedly formed by five ex-band leaders. Their heritage remains unannounced but it appears as if at least one member (Jeff Pinto) was in My Shaky Jane and one (Natasha Pasternak) was testing the solo waters and wowing TV viewers on Rockstar: INXS.

It's not inconceivable that the five songs presented here are each the spawn of one of the band's members. "Rainbows And Unicorns" is like a lost, female-fronted dirge from The Decemberists' The Hazards Of Love. "The Beacons" could've been made by Immaculate Machine. Breezy "Until The Night" — which fittingly features Lisa Lobsinger on guest vocals — is a dreamy, Broken Social Scene-ish floater.

Enjoy Your Lifestyle is a strictly digital release — Hands & Teeth are opposed to the use of CDs — but you may be able to snag a limited-run artwork package with download code if you catch them in person.

This is a brief but impressive start. - Scott Bryson, CHARTattack

"Hands & Teeth - Enjoy Your Lifestyle"

The appeal of Hands & Teeth is pretty easy to discern. Combine boy-girl call-and-response melodies with tender hooks and an easy-going overall sense and you've got an enjoyable album. With five members who all previously headed five other bands, the compromise is palpable. But what they've worked out together shows off their hard work and ability to knuckle down in song. In five numbers, there's sweetness and strength, from driving guitars and speedy keyboards to claps and hard drumming. With five lively musicians, producer Laurence Currie (Sloan, Wintersleep) and guest vocals by Broken Social Scene's Lisa Lobsinger, Enjoy Your Lifestyle is fashioned into a motto to live by. With an essence like Fox Jaws, hinting at mysterious territory, these Toronto, ON upstarts will find their path. - Jessica Lewis, Exclaim

"Two Way Monologues Show Teaser"

"Their folkish poppy sound is packed with more energy than bands of this nature usually ever have. There is a lot to be excited about with Hands & Teeth!" - Two Way Monologues

"Two Way Monologues Show Teaser"

"Their folkish poppy sound is packed with more energy than bands of this nature usually ever have. There is a lot to be excited about with Hands & Teeth!" - Two Way Monologues

"Hot Tracks Presents Race to the End by Hands & Teeth"

Just as important as their songwriting is the fact that Hands & Teeth put on an amazing live show. Their work ethic off the stage really shows when they get in front of a crowd. They’re tight and very well rehearsed, which can be hard to appreciate. - Hot Tracks

"EP Review - Scientists of Sound"

"The five tracks on Enjoy Your Lifestyle all flow seamlessly in to one another creating an enhanced listening experience. Great music from a great band whom I hope to hear more from in the not so distant future." - Scientists of Sound

"Hands & Teeth – Enjoy Your Lifestyle"

Although as individuals they are not new to the music scene, Hands & Teeth is a relatively new band. We first caught Hands & Teeth live at TWM show and, despite being the first opener, their lively set was likely my favourite of the night. When I realized that their Enjoy Your Lifestyle EP was ready for release, I was eager to hear it and my initial thoughts about their impeccable harmonies still stand. It continues to impress me that all 5 members of this band contribute vocals. No matter who seems to be on lead vocals, each song carries the same level of heart. This 5-piece is made up of Kevin Black (vocals, guitar), Adam Kolubinski (drums, vocals), Derek Monson (bass, vocals), Natasha Pasternak (vocals, guitar, keys) and Jeff Pinto (keys, guitar, vocals). Additionally, the band had a little help from Lisa Lobsinger (Reverie Sound Revue, Broken Social Scene) on “Until the Night.”

Enjoy Your Lifestyle’s opening track, “Race to the End” may give you the impression that the EP will be energetic pop rock, especially given it is a catchy tune with layers upon layers of fun, including handclaps. However, the rest of the EP is full of layers of dream-pop balladry work that showcases classical influences and Pasternak’s killer vocal range. This 5-track debut EP is quite impressive, especially considering the band has not even been together for a year and that 4 tracks are actually among the first ever written by the band. There is something about the way this band plays with a quiet power that makes it evident how well they meld together as one. I highly recommend you check out Hands & Teeth live. In fact, they’ve got their EP release show Friday, October 22nd (that’s tomorrow, for all you folks looking at the calender) at the El Mocambo. Should be a good one!

I also have one other recommendation. While you’re checking out their music, check out Hands & Teeth’s “Making of” blog post. It honestly made my day. This band has personality on and off stage that shines, even in emails. - Buying Shots for Bands

"What happens when you start a band with five leaders?"

4/5 Stars.

What happens when you start a band with five leaders? Often it results in chaos, each member shouting to make his or her voice heard over the others. On their five-song debut EP, Hands & Teeth avoid this trap and elevate above the sum of their parts.

Melding folk-pop melodies with classical composition, the Toronto quintet fill the five songs with intricately layered structures that somehow avoid eclipsing the accessible hooks. It helps that each member is both a skilled musician and singer, applying the same sense of complexity to vocals as to arrangements.

In the hands of a lesser band, a moody track like Rainbows And Unicorns could come off as a limp ballad, but Natasha Pasternak’s expressive voice gels with Kevin Black’s impressive guitar leads and Adam Kolubinski’s time-shifting drums to turn it into a subtle gem.

Top track: Rainbows And Unicorns - Now Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



Hands & Teeth were born from a need to do rock music a bit differently. Each member of the four-piece ensemble brings his or her genre-spanning talents and insights from former bands to create a unique brand of groove-based, harmony-laden melodic rock which spans the divide between tried-and-true eras of rock n' roll and the cutting edge of indie pop.

Since their inception in 2010, the band has released one EP (Enjoy Your Lifestyle), one LP (Hunting Season, ranking in the top 200 of 2012 in Canadian college radio), and have wowed crowds at shows and festivals across North America (including NXNE, SXSW, Halifax Pop Explosion) with their fresh sound and infectious onstage camaraderie. With the release of Hunting Season, Hands & Teeth have also become an increasing presence in mainstream media, seeing airplay on MTV (Jersey Shore, Catfish), CBC, and BBC radio.

After a line-up change at the end of 2012, Hands & Teeth spent 2013 honing their new sound while writing and recording new material for their sophomore EP, Before the Light, to be released March 2014.

Band Members