Crushed Out, the honky-tonk surf band known for their lively performances and tender messages of love, have just released Teeth, their second studio album. Moselle Spiller (drums) and Franklin Hoier (guitar), the married duo that make up the band, originally came together by playing local shows in Brooklyn, influenced by the early music of Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley and Little Richard – “Just that wild, joyous stuff,” said Hoier. It was a version of rock ‘n’ roll seldom heard in New York, and people wanted to hear more. Within a year, they had self-released their own album, setting off to thaw the icy hearts of many listeners to come.
But they didn’t stop there. In fact, this month marks four years of almost non-stop touring since 2010. Though the band hasn’t settled down in any specific location, they have their studio space in rural New Hampshire and its vintage recording equipment to thank for their unique sound on 2012’s Want to Give and their recent work on Teeth. Hoier said, “Our last album, though we’re very proud of it, was made incredibly quickly. There are pros to that, but of course there are cons. We felt like Want to Give really captured our wild, live energy. For this album, we really wanted to let each song find its individual soul.”
In fact, taking the time to make each song unique informed the album’s title. Hoier explained, “Every tooth in a set looks different, even though they’re similar. Each song is us trying a slightly different genre. It’s kind of our strength and our weakness too. When you say something has teeth, it has a little bit of an edge to it. We’ve been interested in shark teeth for the imagery of our music, it looks like we sound: surf rock with teeth.”
The album is fluid, all songs seamlessly strung together by timeless and romantically psychedelic melodies. “To Sing True of Love,” the desert blues track inspired by Rumi and Spaghetti Westerns, sets the tone. Through reoccurring images of the wide ocean and the dawning day, Crushed Out remains true to love and the significance it holds for them. “Two lovebirds whistling their tune / Crow come along and say, ‘That ain’t nothin’ new’ / They turn to crow and say, ‘That may be true’ / But I’d rather sing what’s in my heart than try to please you.” An ode to the ocean, love and life, Teeth is as sincere as it is joyous.
– Samantha M. Lopez