Hard-drinking, hard-strumming hardcore spasm Hollow Teeth is a perfect storm of aggression: Bad Brains velocity, Nirvana melody, Born Against chops, Mark E. Smith vocal contortions and enough distortion to double-knot the laces of a shoegazer. Their 10 song, 15-minute demo, available at their Bandcamp page, sounds like the drunken, swerving roadtrip tape for the heart of weirdo artcore’s early-’00s relocation from San Diego to RISD. But conversely, it’s just feral shit to blast if you think CMJ-hyped hardcore bands like Trash Talk are too soft and polished. Album highlight “F.U.P.D.” is a 73-second hailstorm of feedback written after a run-in with one of New York’s finest.
Download: Hollow Teeth, “F.U.P.D.”
What is “F.U.P.D.” about?
TJ Thesefeld: I wrote that song after getting an obstruction of justice charge when the thick-necked rookie cop kicked my door in for playing the Ramones too loud… “F.U.P.D.” is about how you have a run in with a cop, and then every time they see you, they search for any reason they can find to fuck with you–even planting evidence and shit. The line “it’s always something or other” really sums up the attitude of a lot of the self-righteous rookie cops out there. I’ve noticed its the grizzled old-timers who dont really give a fuck, but the young bucks who got handed a gun a week ago are really the ones that are a problem.
Pat Lonergan: Whenever I see one or two or a group of cops, the Benny Hill song goes off in my head!
What inspired it lyrically?
Thesefeld: Lyrically I was inspired by all the cops I know about who bust kids for drinking or having loud parties and other non-threatening bullshit, and then go home and beat their girlfriends to death or get DUIs and shit. Those cops who raped that drunk girl, those type of things. Who the fuck are they to judge anyone?
Chris Losavio: Before I got asked to be in the band, while I was playing in a band called Abject, my band was pulled over and taken out of our car and put in handcuffs. Then they proceeded to plant empty bags of crack on the seat. I have never done crack, nor do I know what it looks like, and went for the drug test afterwards to prove it. However, we spent two nights in jail for something we would never do. This song for me pays respect to the craziness of how much the police in NYC have been abusing their powers and how easily they are able to ruin peoples’ lives. I have never been arrested before then, but now because some cops wanted to meet their quotas and do some overtime I have a record. I believe there are good cops out there, I really do, but this song goes out to the corrupt ones that are doing their jobs for the wrong reasons. Tom, Pat, and TJ wrote that song before I got into the band, but when I play that song all the pent up rage I feel over that situation gets to be released.
Lonergan: I think that might be different for everyone in the group… My boss at work just got arrested.
Tom Curcuruto: Yeah, I guess we all have common but different relations to this song. This is a song for everyone who’s been FU’d by the police: For us, for the woman killed by a cops stray bullet on my block recently, that woman raped by cops, the protesters around the world… The guy that got run over by a cop motorcycle! The only time I ever feel unsafe while walking alone at night in Brooklyn is when there’s cops on every corner! Which is always.
What inspired it musically?
Curcuruto: Basically when we wrote it, I was listening to the Criminal Damage self-titled and Mannequin’s Warps Yr Head a lot and wanted to have a song with a similar vibe and non-stop flow. Mainly it just had to be loud and fun as hell to play.
Lonergan: Beer, man. Booze is super-inspiring. I think getting drunk as fuck when we practice has allowed us to flow through ideas in a fun way.
How did you get this recording’s unique sound?
Losavio: That was a digital 8-track, but all we had was one mic recording. It was originally just a band practice and we planned on recording just to remember our songs! When I mixed it down on the computer, I didn’t realize ’til the last song that I had the hall effect on all of the songs. It was too late to go back and fix it and we all liked it, so we embraced it!
Lonergan: We got the sound of the recording by being drunk and fumbling with a vocal mic. Anyone who takes recording seriously would probably get a big hemorrhoid after hearing ours. So fuck them!
Curcuruto: I had just got a new Big Muff that I had cranked all the way up, adding tons of feedback that I don’t even remember hearing
What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
Curcuruto: Chris and I go to the 5th Ave. Diner a lot to get coffee and talk about music, so I guess that’s it!
Lonergan: Lulu’s gives you free pizza with every pint. That’s my kind of meal!