If you look further down the page you’ll find a review of the most recent Matthew King EP, ‘Here you go, from Sarah xx’ (Link). My First Tooth are part of that same blossoming Northampton folk scene. This though is a much tougher one to review. As many of you may already know I’m pretty good friends with a certain percussionist in this band (there’s only one) but let me assure you if I didn’t believe this EP was worthy of reviewing I’d just plain refuse to do it. So please don’t take any of my praise for it as biased and hopefully he won’t take any criticism personally either. My First Tooth was originally a two piece consisting of strings, guitars and vocals, forming from the remains of ‘One Toy Solider’ who split a few years back after just one album (I still listen to snakes and ladders every once and a while). Over the years though they’ve multiplied and mutated into a full band adding drums and horns to create something much more interesting than your usual ‘one guy and his guitar’ that litter this genre. What strikes me first with this EP is the wonderful use of strings; they add a very distinctive British folk sound to the proceedings. I normally don’t really like that style of music, over the top ‘fiddling’. I find it’s only appropriate for Irish wakes, working mens club functions and beer festivals. However here it fits remarkably well, as if you were watching a very talented singer songwriter play in a pub on a warm sunny day whilst outside you can hear the faint sound of Morris dancers and children skipping round a maypole. Surely their all the elements for why we have an abundance of TV shows like ‘Escape to the country’ polluting my day time TV viewing of shows such as ‘loose women’ and ‘diagnosis murder’. Next to strike a chord would be the brass sections, just imagine if instead of traipsing around the Balkan countries of Albania, Bosnia and Macedonia Zach Conrad had decided to visit the green plains of Warwickshire, the rolling pastures of Northamptonshire and the dizzy heights of the Oxford grand union canal. Beirut would probably sound a little like this, but perhaps with more bells, and a little less hand clapping. All the elements are here to suggest that My First Tooth have huge potential to be real players in their chosen field. Musically everything fits perfectly; the only criticism I would levy their way is that none of these tracks really stick with you longterm. As a whole the EP works very well and is a very pleasant listen, fitting in perfectly with their counterparts but in a very crowded market place you need something to draw people in, and that is all this EP is missing, one sing along rememberable track to pull all the good work together and take them from the front of a large pack into their own league. A task that can’t be far from being achieved as My First Tooth have a vocalist in Ross Witt who seems to have a remarkable way with words.
Stand out track: Honestly, Honestly
Genre: Folk, Indie, Alt Country etc
For Fans Of: Matthew King, She & Him, Bowerbirds