Review: Garage band duo ‘Grapetooth’ blends 80’s funk and synth

Take an excellent adventure with ‘80s synthesizers and poppy chorus punch lines that will leave you coming back for more with Grapetooth’s new self-titled album.

The band consists of two members, Chris Bailoni and guitarist Clay Frankel from the garage rock band Twin Peaks. Frankel brings his energetic vocals and rock sound while Bailoni incorporates his ‘80s synth melody into their music.

The duo creates an interesting sound that pays homage to artists like David Bowie and The Cure, with tracks like “Blood” and “Red Wine.” It’s common to hear a similarity in the music when artists create new projects, but Frankel seamlessly blends his sound with Bailoni’s.

The hands-down, best track off the album is “Trouble.” It was the first track the duo created, and it was written and recorded in one day, coming out almost a year before the album dropped, according to its bandcamp page.

“Trouble” brings an electrifying chorus, “I don’t mind livin’ I don’t mind givin’ it up,” and it can get addicting. That’s about half of the lyrics in the song, but the lack of lyrical complexity doesn’t matter because you can still move your legs to the funkiness.

There’s also a short hypnotic synth solo after the second chorus which sounds even more mesmerizing with headphones on. It’s the most energetic song on the album and its simplicity is suitable for all types of listeners.

“Blood” is another solid track on this album that is a must listen.

On the verse, Frankel sounds a lot like Bowie during the ‘80s when he was using synthesizers and occasionally sang in his bass tone.

Besides Bowie’s influence on this track, it’s fun all around because they use the same electronic music and guitar formula. Pure synths and chorus are sung in unison with multiple voices. It kindly mimics the vibes of “Trouble” but is more complex.

While most of “Grapetooth” seems dedicated mostly to synths, the band switches their sound up with the track “Hangover Sq.”

The track is synth driven, but it’s accompanied with a low-strummed acoustic guitar. The combination makes a great song that resembles The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”

The track doesn’t contribute anything new that the ‘80s hasn’t introduced already, but it changes the vibe of the album to a more calm and laid back tone.

“Red Wine” and “Violent” are some of the singles that breathe life into this album.

“Violent” is the track that best describes their unique noise; they don’t sound like anybody else.

The album’s first track sets the pace for the next two songs and is one of their best, second only to “Trouble.”

Funkel channels his inner Twin Peaks at the end of this song with occasional yelps and yelling. There’s nothing better than hearing Funkel yell on a track as it is well worked on a piece that doesn’t contain guitars or distortion.

In “Red Wine,” synthesizer sounds change throughout the entire song and it utilizes what sounds like an electric guitar distorted with a wah-wah pedal. “Red Wine” sounds as if Jim Morrison from The Doors collaborated with Empire of the Sun.

It will be interesting to see if Grapetooth is just a one-time type of deal because of Frankel’s other band Twin Peaks. It would be a shame if they don’t regroup for a second album as the duo keeps their debut album engaging from the first track until the end.

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