Royal Teeth – Glow Review

Royal Teeth hail from New Orleans and are one of those electro indie types of groups that like to include the odd sample in their music while keeping a sort of generic indie sort of sound. However what makes them stand out are their less than generic vocals that are generally split between Gary Larsen and Nora Patterson. Both have sort of odd sounding vocals at different ends of the scale with Gary’s softer sort of half spoken style and Nora’s more powerful and sometimes higher pitched moments. Those of you who have played FIFA 13 will instantly recognise them during those wasted hours looking for that perfect transfer again and again…

‘Wild’ is the song that anyone who’s played the game will recognise. Starting off with the simple, muted plucked strings with the repetitive drumming, handclaps and all. Nora’s vocals show their range straight away with the Ohh’s and the Ooo’s at the start to lead the song up towards the standard vocals of the verses from Larsen. The drumming takes on a stuttering nature to give some vibrancy to what’s going on while the simple riffs go on throughout the song. What gives the song variation is the back and forth and joint efforts of the two vocalists. All in all it’s a decent song. ‘We Can Glow’ takes on a more standard position in that it starts off with a quietly murmuring, pop like synth and then bass, guitars, and piano all enter doing pretty much the same thing which is repeated in the chorus. In the verses it’s sort of a Keane like piano fussed into a Scandinavian like Eurovision song. Which isn’t a great combination. Norah’s vocals are the sole vocals on this track and are a little more generic and only occasionally show some difference to it. This is an out and out pop tune and they’ve done little to hide that.

‘Hold Me’ starts off with one of the sunset beach ukulele riffs that is joined in with standard instrumentation as Norah maintains the same vocal role as she did in ‘Wild’ The percussion is very stompy and adds little variation. One plus point is the backing vocal harmonies from Norah which are probably not used enough. Other songs like ‘Yellow Paper’ are almost reminiscent of a modern country song especially with those vocal harmonies made by Norah. The organs too, with the subtle piano, bass etc. all evoke that sort of sound as does the percussion. However it’s very tinged with pop elements too. It’s perhaps one of the strongest vocal performances on the album but it’s just got so little depth. This is the case with the whole album. Musically it’s much more simplistic than it suggests and vocally it doesn’t fulfil the potential it might have had had they played on the uniqueness of their voices. Particularly, I think Larsen’s vocals aren’t as strong as Nora’s and perhaps if roles were reversed it would be more fulfilled and a little less shallow and empty.

Royal Teeth – Glow = 4/10

Images from indscene.net

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