The discovery of a new band is always exciting. Will it be something you’ve heard countless times? An experience that leaves a bad taste in your mouth? Or is it a treat from which you cannot stop consuming? I wanted to take a trip back in time to reminisce about bands/albums that not only introduced me to heavy music, but kept me coming back for more…
From The Archive: The Sawtooth Grin – The Cuddle Monster
There are only a handful of grind bands that I actually listen too, and thanks to a friend of mine who I worked with a few years back, I was able to add another band to that list. Hailing from Montrose, New York, and playing a fusion of grind/tech and mathcore, The Sawtooth Grin are one of those bands that are just plain out of control. Their 2004 album, The Cuddle Monster is a spazz-induced and noise filled fury of speed and technicality with some very interesting riffs that fans of the genre will latch onto, but will leave others scratching their heads. It took a bit for me to get into them, seeing as though I’m not an avid listener of grind, but after a few play-throughs, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the hell out of The Cuddle Monster.
The Sawtooth Grin was short-lived, and while going through several line-up changes before disbanding in late 2004, they did manage to have at least one album released through a label, their debut EP, The Cuddle Monster. The Sawtooth Grin at times included drummer Jon Karel (The Number Twelve Looks Like You, ex-Heatherton Heatwave), bassist John E. Hickey III (ex-deflatio), Chris Lombardi (ex-Sex Positions, ex-Heatherton Heatwave), and vocalist Rich Lombardi, who now fronts North Carolina grind band Cloacal Kiss.
Just falling shy of being sixteen minutes long, the album never overstays it’s welcome and flies by quickly, yet not sudden enough to seem rushed. In such a short amount of time, The Sawtooth Grin succeed in supplying an album that is both ridiculously fun and technically satisfying. The instruments as well as the vocals are extremely nuts, and when it comes to working as a unit, they are as rhythmically and technically tight as can be.
The Sawtooth Grin – “Give Me The Amulet You Bitch”
One aspect of this album that makes it enjoyable, is just how much fun of a listen it is. You can tell the band is having a good time and enjoying themselves, plus the humorous song titles such as “Give Me the Amulet You Bitch” (which is taken from a classic cult movie that I hope you all know of), “Meat Hook Marty and the Pajama Party” and “Satan Would Sit in the Smoking Section but He Doesn’t Like the Creepy Waiter”, gives the listener an idea of what this band is about. As for the songs themselves, they’re a culmination of frantic blasts of distorted insanity, dissonant harmonies and manic vocals. They do offer brief moments for the listener to catch their breath, but quickly dive back in and continue the flurry leaving you gasping for air.
The poor production leaves much to be desired, but in their case, it suits the album perfectly. This isn’t supposed to be clean and easy on the ears, it’s meant to be raw, frantic and utterly chaotic. Once and while, you need to listen to bands like this to help break up the monotony of things, and to get that jump start your body and mind might need. It’s a short listen that over time will stick with you and find itself making an appearance in your rotation of albums from time to time. They’re have been rumors of them coming back and releasing a new album, but it’s all he said/she said as of now. But if you happen to know something, please feel free to share it with the rest of us as I’m sure fans of the band would love to know.
The Sawtooth Grin – “Good Touch, Bad Touch, 1-2-3”