Swedish band Sweet Teeth released their debut EP Acid Rain last year, featuring seven tracks of bittersweet and straight-forward alt-rock, performed with heartwarming nostalgia and loads of honesty, and receiving much critical warmth in return (see VT review!). They’ve now followed that up with the release of their debut full-length album High Anxiety, showcasing another twelve chunks of explosive power-pop. On their new studio effort, Sweet Teeth again combine the unforgettable sounds of the guitar driven 80/90s with their own signature mixture of super-melodic song-writing and palpable energy, adding up to a record packed with decent, straight forward alt-rock.
Sweet Teeth….perfect smiles and raw beauty! Behind the smiles is revealed another bittersweet blend of catchy, punky, fuzzy power pop and ’90s inspired alternative rock. Small town dreams expressed through noisy guitars, sugar sweet melodies, and honest, straightforward lyrics. Sweet Teeth sounds like Hüsker Dü mixed with The Flamin’ Groovies (remember them?!), Ramones mixed with Big Star or even The Hellacopters mixed with Dinosaur Jr!
The band comprises Andreas Axelson on guitars and vocals, Joona Hassinen on bass, Andreas Sjöberg on more guitars, and Joakim Öhlund on drums, all hailing from various chunks of rural Sweden and having individually played in various bands across that fair country – The Deadbeats, Disfear, Dollhouse, Year Of The Goat, Tortyr, and The Dontcares. But together these four guys have found their musical sweet spot (I’ll get my coat!).
The band wanted High Anxiety to be a low-hassle album to create, so you wont find long solos or what the band call “extra, un-necessary stuff“! The result is a pretty neat collection of pop songs played with a power-pop/punk/hardcore feel, although the lyrics belie the jauntiness of the music, dealing with anxiety in life, love found and then lost, and all the good and destructive ways to deal with that.
The Acid Rain EP was described elsewhere as a brutal, scintillating mush of frill-free Scandinavian power-pop aggression that calls to mind Hüsker Dü at their most angst-driven and impatient and, because they are so heavily influenced by Hüsker Dü, it has to be said the band do sound quite derivative, reminiscent of loads of bands from the 90s, from MTV, the list could go on for ever! Foo Fighters, Feeder, The Hives, Varvara, all instantly spring to my mind, to name but a few. Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy this release – just don’t expect anything massively new, or different from hundreds of (good) things you’ve heard before! What I would say is that, compared to the seven tracks on Acid Rain, these twelve newbies do have more light and shade, and variation in timbre and pace – onwards and upwards guys, this is good stuff – exemplified by my favourite track Don’t Be Afraid, the last and longest track in the set.
High Anxiety was recorded in Welfare Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden, with Per Stålberg. The vocals were recorded in Crypt of Death studios with Joona Hassinen. High Anxiety was mixed by Per Stålberg and mastered by Joona Hassinen in Studio Underjord. The album is out now on Lövely Records on vinyl and all streaming platforms.