New London’s Ferocious [Expletive] Teeth Records Self-Titled Debut With Steve Albini

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New London band Ferocious (Expletive) Teeth releases a self-titled debut LP this week. (Courtesy of Safety Meeting Records)

With interests in music, painting, literature and poetry, the members of New London band Ferocious [Expletive] Teeth are essentially a self-contained arts collective.

Their primary focus right now, however, is music: the band this week releases a powerful self-titled debut LP on Safety Meeting Records, and plays an album-release show Saturday at Café Nine in New Haven. The album is a visceral collection, full of noisy, experimental songs the band describes as “heavy stony jams.”

They recorded in Chicago in November 2010 during a three-day session with Steve Albini, the legendary punk-rock audio engineer responsible for the sound of “Surfer Rosa” by the Pixies, “In Utero” by Nirvana, “Rid of Me” by PJ Harvey and albums by a host of lesser-known, yet influential bands including the Jesus Lizard, Superchunk and Albini’s own groups, Big Black and Shellac.

Those records, and that sound — aggressive guitars; huge, tough drums; murky vocals — provided weighty incentive for Ferocious [Expletive] Teeth to be well-prepared when the band arrived at Albini’s Electrical Audio studio.

“It was the hardest we had ever worked as musicians,” Teeth drummer Sgott Mackenzie says during an interview in the band’s low-slung rehearsal space in a row of derelict storefronts in downtown New London. “And we got lucky when we recorded it. We got lucky in how it turned out. We pulled it off. We got lucky with only having to do each song five or six times to get the version we liked.”

Here the other drummer, Steven K. Buttery, interjects.

“I don’t see luck,” Buttery says. “We worked our asses off.”

That’s nothing new for Ferocious [Expletive] Teeth. Formed in the winter of 2009 by members of other local bands, the Teeth merged what they call the “improvisational noise-rock” of Mackenzie’s band Total Bolsheviks with the “abrasive calculated noise-rock” of Buttery’s group Brava Spectre, resulting in a sort of noise-rock supergroup.

“Both bands were kind of not doing what we wanted them to do,” says Buttery. “Bands were being bands and people were being people.”

The Teeth had already written a handful of songs by August 2010, when Mackenzie, 41, announced to his bandmates — Buttery, 25; singer Daniel S. Boroughs, 27; baritone guitarist Brian P. Smith, 33; and guitarist Michael K. Slyne (who has since left the group, to be replaced by guitarist Joshua Houser, 23) — that he had booked studio time with Albini, and the group had three months to get ready.

“We wrote 11 songs, and we recorded 11 songs, basically,” in the order they appear on the album, says Boroughs, who howls on the album like a man possessed despite having had a lung removed as a baby.

Though the album was finished in just a few days, Ferocious [Expletive] Teeth delayed releasing it while the group considered various options before partnering with New Haven’s Safety Meeting.

“The entire time we went into this recording process, we wanted to record analog, we wanted to master analog and we wanted to release analog, and 12-inch records happen to cost a bit to put out the way you want them,” Buttery says.

The Teeth will tour as much as possible this year, working around the members’ day jobs and other projects. The band is already planning the upcoming release of a new 7-inch single and they’re writing songs for a second full-length album, which the musicians are considering returning to Chicago to record.

“Part of you wants to be like, ‘Let’s try a new space out and see how it sounds,’” Buttery says. “But part of you is like, ‘This one worked really well last time.’”

Ferocious [Expletive] Teeth performs with Space Orphans and the Naked Heroes Saturday, March 3, at Café Nine, 250 State St., New Haven. There’s a $5 cover for the 9 p.m. show. Information: 203-789-8281 or www.cafenine.com.

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Ferocious F**king Teeth – Hinkley by safetymeeting

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