In the age of the download, where you can go from being told about a track by a friend to playing it out loud on the bus in a matter of minutes, it is no surprise that albums have suffered as a result. Some bands, such as Ash, have begun to simply release singles periodically as opposed to albums. Fortunately, some musicians still have the ambition to create a long-player as a piece to be listened to as one. North London-based psychedelic duo Teeth of the Sea have done just that with Your Mercury.
After a short introduction, we hear ‘The Ambassador’, which begins with a sound so ugly it can only be beautiful. Then follows a superb six minutes, building up to an infectious drum beat. Next comes ‘Cemetery Magus’, a slightly foreboding piece of dark electro on a four the floor beat, ticking the boxes for both ‘spooky and ‘catchy’.
The confusingly titled ‘You’re Mercury’, one of the central pieces on the album, is a triumph. It is a soaring piece of psychedelia over an almost military drum beat, developing from a whisper to a scream. Part of its dark beauty is how well repetition is used. Despite the length of the track and the amount some phrases recur, nothing here seems unnecessary; it all has a part to play. One of the joys of this record is how it seems to exist in a world of its own, and when you listen to it, you are in the world of Your Mercury.
Another great showcase of this band’s abilities is ‘A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.’, which echoes krautrock and at one point seems to resemble the Britney Spears hit, ‘Womanizer’. With its gripping bass riffs and all round intensity, it creates a cinematic feel. The only low point is the closing track, ‘Hovis Coil’, which in itself is not an unenjoyable track, but given the way the album was headed, I was expecting it to end with a bang, but it never seems to come.
Teeth of the Sea, it seems, have attempted to make an album which is not genre-definable. They seem to have used a diverse bank of influences to great effect. Your Mercury is haunting in all the right ways, each track is interesting in a different way, but there is such a sense of cohesion on the record it makes it almost impossible not to listen all the way through once you play track one.
9 out of 10