One could never fault London-based ethereal trio Teeth Of The Sea for not having enough influences on this, their sixth album. With Hive, the three-piece consisting of Jimmy Martin, Mike Bourne and Sam Barton branch out into futuristic possibilities brimming with wonder and terror. The core inspiration was Frank Herbert’s mad scientist novel Hive, which tells of a sinister plot to engineer an insectoid race that will outcompete humanity and dominate earth.
The London Science Museum asked the group to make music for their Apollo landing exhibit in 2019, effectively putting this album also in the territory of space exploration. Do we battle our insect overlords here on Earth? Do we take our chances at a new start in the stars? The good news is we have Teeth Of The Sea to provide soundtracks for both.
Artemis sounds like nothing less than a collaboration between the synth majesty of Boards of Canada and the haunting saxophone of the Cinematic Orchestra. It’s an uplifting number that was part of the aforementioned London Science Museum exhibit, and it fits perfectly.
Get With The Program is another story, it’s a very punchy industrial number that feels like an extremely rough re-entry into atmosphere with Mike Bourne’s Trent Reznor-esque singing guiding the landing operation. The funky synthpop of Butterfly House is sure to please fans of Lazerhawk and Zombi, augmented with the added charm of some sultry vocals courtesy of Kath Gifford (Snowpony, the Wargs). The mournful Æther returns to the Apollo exhibit, giving a sense of grandiosity but an added sense of lonely isolation in a zero-gravity drift.
a synth-laden world of ominous textures and satisfying grooves…
At nearly ten minutes, Megafragma brings us to the Hive motif. There’s a sense of unease as a rollicking subterranean beat is occasionally punctured by sharp dissonance. You can picture an army of invertebrate creatures on a relentless march as faint spoken word can be heard emanating in the background. But my favorite track is Powerhorse. If I were ever a Deckard-esque disgruntled cop in a cyberpunk cityscape, this song would be booming out of the speakers of whatever flying car I would use for my cases.
Teeth Of The Sea delivers an immersive experience with Hive. It draws upon as many moods as it does themes and creates a synth-laden world of ominous textures and satisfying grooves. These London lads have outdone themselves with this release, perhaps the strongest thus far in their discography. But seriously… watch out for those world conquering bugs!
Scribed by: Rob Walsh