SAVAK – Rotting Teeth In The Horse’s Mouth: Album Review

Rotting Teeth In The Horse’s Mouth sees SAVAK return with their fourth album since 2015.

Released: 10th April 2020

Label: Ernest Jenning Record Co.

Format: CD / LP / Digital

A couple of things that might be misleading. 

The album is called ‘Rotting Teeth In the Horse’s Mouth’. This sounds like a death metal album. 

It isn’t. 

One of the trio is known as ‘Jaws’. This might you think of a massive shark or a Bond baddie. 

None of the band resemble either of these. 

Good to deal with misconceptions up front.

‘George Washington’s famous wooden dentures (begins the presser for this album) were actually crafted from hippopotamus ivory, brass and gold. The teeth currently occupying the Oval Office are just made of fallacies, narcissism and slime.’ Another post on the band’s website begins ‘The circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles. Eratosthenes calculated a reasonable approximation of this in 240 B.C., which is pretty impressive given he basically used shadows to figure it out.’ I include these to illustrate a point. SAVAK are no ordinary band. And this ain’t their first rodeo.

Formed in 2015 by members of The Obits, Holy Fuck, and The Cops are already onto album number 4. Clearly a band with a lack of patience and a lot to say. This record begins in wonderfully upbeat  ‘70s power pop tradition. Lead track ‘Vis a Vis’ is all driving guitar and big choruses. It sounds pretty timeless (in a good way). Side A continues with much the same vibe, culminating in the lovely ‘Aujourd’hui’  which could be lifted straight off a Tom Petty album. Half in French too. Clever boys.

Side B feels like a shift in tone. Maybe a swarm of wasps invaded the studio and the rest of the album was recorded in a state of mild danger. Or maybe not. ‘Bayonet’ immediately strikes a more acerbic chord. The guitars are suddenly angry. ‘It’s Mutual’ continues this punkier vein. Vocals join the guitars in their fury. It’s like everyone’s a bit pissed off with the perkier first half of the album. This doesn’t let up, culminating in the melancholic parting shot of ‘We’ve Been Disappearing.’ 

This is an album for all seasons. It is optimism and realism. It is light and dark. It is dancing and shouting at the sky. 

And mercifully, it is very few rotting horse teeth.

SAVAK: Official Website / Bandcamp / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

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