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EP Review: Loose Tooth’s ‘Saturn Returns’


Melbourne three-piece Loose Tooth first showed up on our radar with their unmissable press shot: blue skies, fresh-faced band members, and a whole heap of dogs; what more could you want? Seemingly lifted straight from a scene in Homeward Bound, the band have that 90s normcore charm, and back it up with some sweet – and a little bit grungy – guitar pop.

After the release of killer singles Bites Will Bleed and Sherry, the trio are set to release their debut EP ‘Saturn Returns’ through Milk! Records, the independent Aussie label started by Courtney Barnett. But you won’t have to wait long to have a listen, with the EP set to drop today, Friday April 1st.

“a charming and fuzzy slacker-rock inspired collection that will no doubt make you smile, even if it’s on the inside”

The band is made up of Etta Curry on drums, Nellie Jackson on guitar, and Luc Dawson on bass, with all three members sharing the vocals. Their debut offering is a charming and fuzzy slacker-rock inspired collection that will no doubt make you smile, even if it’s on the inside. The opening track Bites Will Bleed reverberates with clashing guitar and beautifully echoing vocals, but the real highlight of the track is the harmonisation on the chorus “your bites will bleed”; flowing delicately over the clatter of the percussion and guitar.

Following Bites Will Bleed is their second single Sherry, a reverb-heavy track featuring the same dreamy vocals and a catchy, jangly guitar riff. Sherry is the kind of track that brings to mind over-exposed photos of summer; like the perfect sundrenched and hazy memory. There’s also an emotionally-charged energy behind Loose Tooth’s slacker, grungy style, particularly in the following track, Everything Changes. The strength of the delicate but powerful vocals creates the perfect hook that will have it stuck in your head for days, along with the rest of the EP.

Tracks like Will You and Heat Waves begin with simple and steady beats, Will You with the guttural twang of the bass guitar and Heat Waves with a deep guitar riff and the thud of the drums. Both tracks are a lot more atmospheric for this reason. They slowly build to heady culminations of clashing instruments and delicate but howling vocals, and there’s definitely more tension underlying each track. Heat Waves has a captivating sparsity to it, highlighting the strength of their often simplistic guitar riffs. This is very well crafted guitar pop, under the guise of nonchalance.

“The chorus could come across as too cutesy, but it doesn’t, it works effortlessly”

The second last track on the EP Oooh.. is perfectly titled – the band dreamily repeat the chorus “oooh weee oooh” and your mind feels immediately soothed. The chorus could come across as too cutesy, but it doesn’t, it works effortlessly against the jangling guitar and driving drum beat. Loose Tooth are clearly not afraid of simplicity and it’s definitely working for them.

The final track History Aside is heavy on the reverb and the clashing symbols, backed up by the same kind of dreamy cooing heard in Oooh.. As they sing “I’m making you cry” in perfect harmony, you almost don’t realise how harsh and emotionally charged the lyrics are. The balance between the dreamy vocals and echoing, clashing guitar and percussion on all the tracks is what makes ‘Saturn Returns’ so impressive. They have made a sweet but never sickly, simple but never over-simplistic, debut offering that will make you feel 100 times better (you might even crack a smile) and leave you wanting more.

Check out the gore-tastic video for Bites Will Bleed below.

Album Rating: 4