Police Teeth

Police Teeth


If you're under 25: Hot Snakes meets the Thermals. If you're over 25: Superchunk meets the Wipers. High energy Northwest rock that brings together the likes of Archers of Loaf, AC/DC, Husker Du, and Fugazi. We also have a good sense of humor.


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


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)

Set List

30-45 minutes depending on the engagement.

Originals mostly. Occasional covers of classic rock songs and obscure forgotten post-punk bands.