Thursday 25 April 2013

My First Tooth - Love Makes Monsters

Album review by

The first album by Northampton collective My First Tooth was a critical success, if not exactly a chart smash. It could have been though, as the band posses many of the qualities that could qualify them for such sales figures. Now they return with second offering 'Love Makes Monsters', an album that is, in a way, a distillation of some of the guitar-type bands who've achieved such success in the last few years. This record is also a very solid one, even at over 50 minutes it manages to hold attention. No mean feat. It makes you wonder if this lot will eventually have their moment in the sun, the ingredients are all in place, except perhaps just a single very important one.

The songs here are likable straight away. Nothing is too rigid, they're not afraid to play about a bit and try different approaches, such as the unexpected coda on 'Past Broadcasts' (in fact these crop up on several occasions). As a rule, this album this is accessible indie with just enough orchestration to give a slightly majestic feel without going overboard. There are a few singalong moments too. We can imagine the lively 'Hawk In Harness' or the grand 'Heartbeat Retreat' becoming live favourites, and rightly so. One close comparison that springs to mind is Goldheart Assembly. More wistful tunes are here for the taking too, just look at 'Into The Wild Part 1' and the lovely 'The Palace'. Many of these tracks are aiming for the stars and some of them come within touching distance, 'Into The Wild Part 2' being one such example, 'Monsters' being another.

They have elements of folk (that might please the Mumfords crowd) and they have a quirky alternative side too, one that could attract people who find Wild Beasts and their like a bit heavy going. Traces of Arcade Fire can be found, as well as other successful groups who've combined the traditional band format with a more diverse array of instruments and found their own winning formula. 'Love Makes Monsters' could follow in the footsteps of such bands, but that leads us to the one missing ingredient. What My First Tooth don't have is a breakthrough hit; a song to put them on the map and get the ball rolling. Yes these songs are good, yes this album is good, and if they can muster up that killer single to launch them skyward they could be quids in. As it is, we have a thoroughly decent album, but one which, sadly, is unlikely to make much more headway than the first.

My First Tooth's website

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