Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Shark’s Tooth” by Archie Bronson Outfit from the 2010 album Coconut on Domino Records.
Nearly four years have passed since the London-based Archie Bronson Outfit released their critically acclaimed album Derdang Derdang, whose post-punk meets garage rock sound seemed at the time entirely new. Hits like “Dart for My Sweetheart,” “Dead Funny” and “Cherry Lips” were dark, tribal, and cathartic songs that helped pave the way for other acts like These New Puritans, The Big Pink, The Horrors and many others who found inspiration in The Fall, dance music, and the 4AD back catalog.
While others continue down that same path, the Archie Bronson Outfit has found other avenues to explore. Coconut, their third full-length release, doesn’t exactly head toward the light, but it does trade the muscular guitar riffs for crazed electronic melodies and beats and psychedelic washes of distortion. Guiding them this time around is DFA co-owner and producer Tim Goldsworthy, who helps turn Coconut into what the band describes themselves as “bursting with warped inventiveness and sonic intent.” Another word is used by many reviewers of the album: “terrifying,” of which the two-parter “You Have A Right To Mountain Life/One Up On Yourself” is a perfect example. But for every psych freakout, there’s either a catchy dance number like “Hoola” or a mellow melody like “Hunt You Down.”
Today’s Song of the Day, “Shark’s Tooth,” is an easy standout, beginning immediately with a bouncy rhythm of what sounds like distorted steel drums and melody of New Order-esque keys and bass. Where Sam Windett’s vocals were previously a plaintive wail, they’re now equally distorted and buried a bit more in the mix, but certainly no less recognizable than they’ve ever been, as he sings of a lost love and blown opportunity: “We chased the whole sea/I’d rather be with you.” It’s perhaps the most danceable cacophony you’re likely to find!
The band recorded videos for each song on Coconut, all available on a limited edition CD/DVD combo. You can watch those videos on Domino Records’ YouTube channel. But here’s the “official” version of “Shark’s Tooth”: