Police Teeth
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Police Teeth

Band Rock Punk


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Police Teeth @ Sunset Tavern

Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle, Washington, USA

Police Teeth @ Neumo's w/ Fucked Up (Matador Records), Akimbo

Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle, Washington, USA

Police Teeth @ Live on KEXP 90.3/www.kexp.org

Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle, Washington, USA

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



Released last fall, Police Teeth’s Jazz Records for Sale is among the best 27 minutes a Seattle-ish band have touched lately (half the members reside in Bellingham). Biting, intelligent, indecipherable lyrics sent me scrambling for the liner notes as the stereo thrummed with delicious, squalling feedback. In early June, it was confirmed that Police Teeth are working on a sophomore effort, hopefully to be released sooner rather than later. Stages have literally collapsed under this band mid-riff, yet none can say which law of physics was responsible. As post punk evolved from a natural progression of prior endeavors, the whole hardcore-versus-pop, Horsewhip-meets-Racetrack thing is easily set aside for this ferocious pack of dudes who look like they work at a library and/or KFC. Matt Garman - The Stranger

Album Review
Police Teeth: Real Size Monster Series

by Eric Grandy

Police Teeth
Real Size Monster Series
(Blood City)

The four guys in Police Teeth have been playing in bands—this one as well as Bellingham-based acts Racetrack and USS Horsewhip—for a while, and it shows in more than just their musical chops. Where those years of toil really rear their ugly head is in the Seattle transplants' bitter, pissed-off lyrics about the local music scenery and biz.

"Big Hearts, Small Riffs" begins with the thesis "There's a breakdown in the discourse between art and entertainment," and then proceeds to break it down further—suggesting that DIY is a privilege best afforded by those whose "parents are footing the bill," wondering sarcastically if lighting their gear on fire or adding "a hot girl in her underwear" on tambourine might increase their cut of the door. All over, five minutes of actually pretty-big riffs; steady, swaggering rhythms; and the occasional female background vocal and trumpet burst. On "Bob Stinson Will Have His Revenge on Ferndale," the band—sounding a bit like earlier, angrier Piebald or maybe Braid when that other guy was singing—lament, "The clubs won't touch us without label support/The labels won't touch us until we're back from tour." On "There's a Big Heap of Trash at the End of the Rainbow": "You should have stayed in college and picked a real job/What makes you think you're above punching a clock?"

All of which would just be so much petty, though probably painfully familiar, bitching if the songs were crap. Fortunately, this record, while uneven, has some shining moments of adventurous punk-rock racket. "I Made Out with You Before You Were Cool" buries traces of early Q and Not U's ricocheting, crooked rhythms underneath dual singing/screaming vocals that suffer from the screaming being too low in the mix, so that it sounds blown-out rather than explosive. "Northern California" is a bleary-eyed bender cranked awake with heat-wave-shimmering guitars and comradely gang vocals. "Who Wants to Fuck a Millionaire" and the domestic disaster of "Psychedelic Vasectomy" would both sound just fine alongside Seattle contemporaries Bow + Arrow (although presumably they would have to have words about the whole DIY thing).

This album might not solve all of Police Teeth's problems with the music industry and their place in it, but it could go a good ways in that direction. - The Stranger

Policing My Police Teeth Analogies
Posted by Eric Grandy on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Man, I had a hell of a time reviewing Police Teeth's new album, Real Size Monster Series this week (you can read the whole review here). Where I think I may have most failed the local punk rock quartet is in the comparison department, where I perhaps questionably deployed Q and Not U, Braid, and Piebald (fucking Piebald, a band I haven't even listened to in maybe six or seven years, so really I'm just going on shaky memories with that one) in an attempt to get at the Seattle band's sound. Oh, and Bow + Arrow. (Also, not included in the review: "I Made Out With You Before You Were Cool" has a pop punk bridge that's total Sicko.) I don't know, maybe some of those aren't so far off as far as they're deployed in the review, but I turned the piece in with the nagging feeling that the perfect reference points were still just on tip of my tongue. So, I put it to you gentle readers of Line Out: What the fuck are Police Teeth reminding me of?

Whatever it is, I just want to make clear, in case the review didn't already: I am really, really feeling this record. The production sounds a little muddy in the low to mid range, but the songs are great—seriously searing, pissed-off punk rock fuck yous at their finest. I have yet to see Police Teeth live—they're playing tonight but I unfortunately won't be able to make this show either—but they are now in my to-do pile in a major way. I have a feeling these songs sound like 100-proof fire live. - The Stranger Line Out Blog

After debuting new material earlier this year at the High Dive (the day before ducking into the studio), Police Teeth are finally ready to officially release the collection of anthemic and deconstructed punk songs that have been stuck in my head since summer. Real Size Monster Series, a follow-up to the wonderfully pissed-off Jazz Records for Sale, will be released February 24, and it'll probably rock your face off. The band are one part AC/DC, one part Fugazi, and one part... well, Police Teeth. If you missed the summer show, tonight is another chance to get a sneak preview of new songs that are laced with as much vitriol as humor and fun. MEGAN SELING - The Stranger

To this day, I can't think of a song that uses the word "motherfucker" better than the MC5's "Kick Out the Jams." But Police Teeth's "Motherfuckers Move Slow" gives the expletive the ol' college try. Police Teeth is blistering post-hardcore with an infatuation for AC/DC and Wire, played by dudes formerly found in Racetrack and USS Horsewhip. "Motherfuckers Move Slow" is an urgent track rife with guitar riffs. . . MEGAN SELING - The Stranger

The 2nd album from this now mostly Seattle-via-Bellingham band finds them expanding their sound while rocking even harder than their blistering debut, combining angular guitar riffs and blasts of punk noise with catchy singalong choruses and some surprisingly sweet pop hooks into defiant songs filled with blue collar anger and sardonic humor. - Don Yates - KEXP 90.3 FM (www.kexp.org)

The debut album from this Bellingham band featuring ex-members of USS Horsewhip and Racetrack neatly splits the difference between those two bands, combining Horsewhip’s sonic aggression and Racetrack’s melodic power pop into energetic, hook-filled indie rock reminiscent of the Wipers, Superchunk and Archers of Loaf. - Don Yates - KEXP 90.3 FM (www.kexp.org)


Real Size Monster Series (Blood City; CD; February 2009)
Jazz Records For Sale (Blood City; CD; November 2007)

Fuckin' Totally EP (Blood City; CD/double 7"; Fall 2009)
Awesomer Than The Devil (Blood City; CD; 2010)
Police Teeth's Greatest Hits (Blood City; Double LP; 2011)



A little to the north of Washington State's most famous city, a town known for its computers, airplanes and a fairly extensive musical legacy, lies Bellingham, a town known largely for a view of the bay and a drinking problem. This is the town that gives our story context, a town steeped in a rock lore of it's own that only sometimes made it down the I-5 corridor. It's here where Racetrack and USS Horsewhip honed their fuzz-pop and post-hardcore skills, respectively. It's here where both bands ascended in the favour of local crowds regional press, embarked on national tours, made lauded records and ultimately broke up for all the usual reasons.

This could have been the end of their musical legacies, footnotes for Northwest Musical Archivists, but if that were the case you wouldn't be reading this bio, would you? Shortly after the dissolution of their Great Rock Hopes, Richy Boyer(drums) and James Burns(guitar/throat) of Horsewhip joined forces with Chris Rasmussen(bass) of Racetrack and Police Teeth bit their way into existence.

Their first album, Jazz Records For Sale stripped back much of the sonic excess that characterised the two bands, leaving a bare-bones attack that successfully reconciled the indie, pop and post-punk instincts of what came before. In the meantime, the band became a live force in their own right sharpening their teeth (ha) in clubs, basements and auditoriums.

This, however, is all backdrop for the band Police Teeth are now. In a short two years, Police Teeth have gotten louder, sharper and multi-faceted, pushing all thoughts of their former projects into the recesses of memory. Shortly after the release of Jazz Records, Police Teeth added Adam Grunke on second guitar, largely relocated to Seattle (a city perhaps better suited to PT's more thoughtful brand of violence) and recorded their sophomore opus, Real Size Monster Series.

Where Jazz Records was stripped down and direct, Real Size keeps the attack intact but adds textures, piles on layers and influences and often turns left when you expect it to turn right. While the Superchunk/Hot Snakes foundation holds steady, there is a markedly expanded sonic palette at work here; at different points in the album one might be reminded of Sonic Youth's bass/guitar dissonance, the fuzz-buried melodies of early Sebadoh or Buzzcocksian powerpop. You could also trace the post hardcore lineage from Husker Du through early Jawbreaker and Trail of Dead, sliced up with a bit of dub-flavour and AC/DC's four-on-the-floor aesthetic for a sound that keeps pace without falling into monotony.

Add to this the twin-song writing capabilities of Burns and Rasmussen [edit: all four of us write the songs, dude], who provide a yin/yang contrast, taking on topics as diverse as fatherhood, art vs. commerce, trials of longstanding friendships and drinking with a balance of wry humour and anger. The resulting record kicks your ass both musically and lyrically, is able to take itself seriously but is still capable of, you know, fun. Which, all comparisons aside, is possibly the best thing about Real Size Monster Series; in an age where NPR runs specials on "Indie Rock" too many rock bands choose either Loud and Dumb or Smart and Quiet; once again, Police Teeth know how to split the difference.

Graham Isaac,
Rock Journalist
Swansea, Wales UK