A couple of years after entering a permanent hiatus period in 2015 with his post hardcore band POLAR BEAR CLUB, Rochester, NY artist Jimmy Stadt emerged in a new power pop / rock band with members of other upstate bands like Coming Down, Green Dreams, Like Wolves, Marathon and many others. Today, 3 weeks ahead of SHY TOOTH‘s debut album release on Dadstache Records, we’re stoked to give you a special teaser – the band’s cool version of “Everything Flows” by TEENAGE FANCLUB, featured on the band’s debut album “A Catholic Education” back in 1990.
Comments Jimmy Stadt (guitar/vocals): “If I had to pick one band as my north star, bedrock band to represent the last 5-7 years of my life, it’d be Teenage Fanclub. Hands down. We had to show our love for them in some way around this release. It would’ve felt wrong not to. They were also the last band I saw live before the pandemic. That memory and their songs are just kind of on a constant loop in the background of my mind. Maybe diving this deep into one of their songs was an attempt to get them out of my head. It didn’t work. Thank God.”
Ultrasuede is out 3/26 on Dadstache Records.
Asked for SHY TOOTH’s comentary on their influences and inspirations for the album, the band came up with this cool handy Spotify playlist that we all now can follow:
Sometimes you can only see how much things have changed when you’re already past them. Shy Tooth’s debut LP Ultrasuede has a throughline of reflection on growth, change and acceptance brought to it by a band that has seen it all, even before it’s existence. Composed of veterans of a number of Rochester, NY hardcore and punk bands including Polar Bear Club, Marathon, Coming Down, Like Wolves and Green Dreams, Shy Tooth was initially formed by bassist Brian VanEtten. “I had just moved back to Rochester and [Brian] was just sort of writing and recording these home demos,” says singer and guitarist Jimmy Stadt. “I ended up singing on one of them and I also threw some guitar leads on it. He liked them! So we went from there. We actually played together practicing for a long time before the 3 Songs EP came out. Almost two years. It was great.”
Based on their shared history of playing in aggressive bands, one would assume that Shy Tooth would follow in that lineage, but Ultrasuede leans more into the melodic sides of those bands. The record retains the distorted edge and pummeling rhythms, and layers on the harmonies, keys, and bells – finding the band occupying a lane more akin to Nick Lowe’s brand of power pop melded with a more contemporary Springsteen indebted anthemic indie punk. “We sat with that EP for a while and just naturally got a feel for how we got in our own way with it,” Stadt continues. “I think we just tried to pull out all of those stops on this one. By its nature and the way we approached it, we experimented a lot more with percussion and auxiliary sounds. Bands are an ever-evolving process and this one just got that much better at playing off each other and working as one.”
That organic and collaborative approach to the band growing into itself and it’s sound served them well during the songwriting process. “These songs span many years of writing for me,“ Stadt reflects. “They pull from all sorts of experiences throughout my life. And to be honest, I only really understand it looking back on it. It wasn’t necessarily a part of a plan.” Elaborating further he says, ”The songs are ultimately all of us. We all put a lot of work into each one and share writing credit. Most of the songs come from me. That being said, there are great moments of collaboration on this album.” Ultrasuede’s 11 songs feel like the result of that shared knowledge of when to go full bore, and when to reign it in as the album traverses full throated, shout along anthems and more reserved numbers.
The jangling 12-string intro of album opener “Too Kind” seamlessly turns into soft keys, and then explodes into a hook and harmony filled anthem about wearing your emotions too close to the surface. “Too Kind” showcases the band’s ability to create layered yet catchy songs, while the relatively subdued acoustic number “Unspecialized” where Stadt sings of “a dreaming tiger I thought I had tamed, bit my left hand trying to undo the chain” emphasizes that the band’s ability is not diminished in any context. On “Resigned” the band flirts with moments of classic 70s power pop before roaring into life in a distinctly non-throwback way, and then the album dips into the layered, orchestrated “Shall Be Visited.”
Songs like “Unspecialized” and “Resigned” have lyrics that may sound like they’re coming from a place of defeat, but initial impressions bely the band’s confidence and thoughtfulness. The acoustic-driven and slide guitar led “Say Now” finds Stadt grappling with and ultimately finding acceptance, singing “we’ll never have it all, if that’s ever what we wanted.”
“We named the album Ultrasuede after a lyric in the song ‘No Closer To.’ That lyric is about putting all of yourself (maybe too much of yourself) into what’s ultimately fleeting and how ridiculous that is but beautiful at the same time,“ Stadt says. It’s that attitude that shines through on Ultrasuede – there’s beauty in where you’ve been and where you ended up if you’re open to it.