BROKEN TEETH – Bulldozer (2015, TMU Records)
by Derek Norman
Broken Teeth (Jason McMaster – Vocals, Jared Tuten and David Beeson – Guitars, Robb Lampman – bass, Bruce Rivers – Drums) has been a pillar in the Texas scene for more than 16 years. They’ve often been referred to as a “band that sounds like AC/DC”, and the influence is certainly notable, but I believe this new EP serves as a strong reminder that there is much more to the band than that. These veterans just know how to bring their combined influences into the framework of their Southern Hard Rock sound.
Bulldozer includes three brand new songs, two previously released songs, and two covers. The first of the new songs is “Raining Fire”, a bluesy hard rock tune that says “this is Broken Teeth” right away. By the first chorus, I was thinking about how amazing it is that Jason McMaster’s voice hasn’t lost anything since I first heard him sing for Dangerous Toys 25 years ago. “Red River Rising” continues in a similar vein, but it feels a bit heaver – almost as if they are building toward something. That’s when “The Rough and the Tumble” is unleashed! This one to me truly demonstrates how well the band can surgically merge several influences into a single Broken Teeth song. Some of the guitar riffs even resemble classic thrash metal, and yet it all works.
Previously released track “Flamethrower” keeps things on the heavier side and works perfectly as a follow-up to “The Rough and the Tumble”. “Lightning Strikes” is a fun Aerosmith cover that changes gears briefly before the next previously released track “Devil on the Road” brings the hammer down again.
Speaking of hammers, the EP closes with a cover of Motorhead’s “The Hammer”. This rendition is both very much Broken Teeth and very much Motorhead. The late, great Lemmy Kilmister would be proud to hear such a fitting and timely tribute.
I would love to have a full new album with a few more new songs, but these seven songs provide more consistent entertainment than most bands can do with 10 or 12. I’ll take quality over quantity any day.
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