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Royal Teeth At The Library (Redbury Hotel), Wednesday June 27th 2012

I arrived late for Royal Teeth’s performance at the Redbury Hotel, I couldn’t find a place to park, and I had never been to that mysterious Library, which is located at the second floor of the hotel, and is in fact not really a library but a superb bar-lounge with an interior-exterior courtyard overlooking Hollywood, a really beautiful place to have a concert.

The six members of Royal Teeth were already playing their uplifting music, which sounded familiar right away,…  you know, that drumbeats building up the emotion and suspense, elevating the tune up to some bombastic potential without going over the top, and these abundant oooo-ooo-ooos two-voice harmonies…. I immediately thought about what Fucked Up frontman, Damian Abraham had honestly declared to Spin magazine just a few weeks ago: ‘Nothing against Arcade Fire because they are an unbelievable band, but how many terrible bands that thrive on that sound are we going to have to put up with?’


Royal Teeth is not a terrible band by any means, they had energy and enthusiasm, they played catchy-enough songs and foot-tapping tunes, with nice vocals harmonies, soaring choruses and lots of drums that they often used at the end of a song in a climatic apotheosis, but as Damian said, do we need another band riding the Montreal-band-epic wave?


Especially, they covered The Knife’s 2003 hit ‘Heartbeats’, as they do on their debut EP, ‘Act Naturally’, and they did it well, with Nora Patterson and Gary Larsen’s sweet voices occasionally mixing together and smoothing the edges, but it just increased the music connection as you can find a million conversations on the web talking how Arcade Fire’s ‘Sprawl II’ is a rip off of this precise song,


Nevertheless, the six of them had a confident presence on stage, growing up at each song this sort of U2-light emotion-tension thanks to the vocals and the drums, and although the electric guitar was sometimes doing its own thing on one side, four of them played drums in a big ensemble for a cathartic finale during their hit song ‘Wild’.


The members of the band come from Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans and they have recently signed with Los Angeles-based Dangerbird Records, which got impressed by their dynamic stage presence. They were tight and the public obviously liked them, this is a seducing sound, easy to like at the first listening, so I am sure they will have no problem at finding a large audience, they are infinitely better than a lot of stuff we can hear anywhere, but they still have to find a way to escape this Arcade Fire sub-genre.

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