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ARTIST
TITLE
Soft Monsters
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
LEXDEV 021CD LEXDEV 021CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
8/5/2008

Dark Tooth Encounter is the name of the new music project out of California from Yawning Man/Ten East lynchpin, Gary Arce, and drummer extraordinaire, Ten East's Bill Stinson. Although joined by Scott Reeder (Kyuss, Obsessed, etc.) and Mario Lalli (Across The River, Fatso Jetson, etc.) on almost all of the tracks on this debut, the approach is much more experimental and cerebral than many of the players' previous work, sounding like an update on the classic '70s art-rock of Brian Eno. With Gary supplying guitars (including lap steel) throughout, as well as keyboards and electronics; metronomic beats, angular guitar and fuzzed-out bass, Dark Tooth Encounter remain a unique proposition. Purely instrumental and aided by the astonishing production and studio work of Mike Shear, their music is a mixture of several different elements. There are two almost rootsy-sounding tracks with "Weeping Pines" and "Engine Drone" (a 9-minute epic that brings to mind the acid-fried guitar workouts the Meat Puppets once perfected); a breezy space-rock number such as "Deep Sleep Flower," which borders on My Bloody Valentine shoegazer territory; the minimalist, aggressive drive of "Radio Bleed"; and the quieter, plaintive passages in "Alloy Pop" and "Hyper Air." Anyone with an interest in post-punk instrumental rock will get a kick out of Soft Monsters. Their sound incorporates small elements of the players' other outfits, sure, but there's also hints of math-rock, prog and shades of country-rock and psychedelia. DTE have already caught the ears of Ash Ra Tempel's Manuel Göttsching and Pell Mell's Steve Fisk, both of whom wish to work with the band in the future, but for now you have Soft Monsters, an album sure to be loved by stoners and art-rockers alike.