By Brian Kim
Chico, CA’s Teeph have spent years making aggressive and chaotic noise rock. They cull the sounds of sludge, punk, grindcore, and post-metal, citing influences like Botch, Big Business, Converge, and The Melvins. With their newest effort, Widowmaker, Teeph have managed to expertly meld these influences and transmute them into something more.
The record begins with a squelch of harsh feedback in the opening track, “1,000 Deaths”, before jumping straight into a world of crushing heaviness. After sufficient destruction, the band decomposes into a bleak wasteland of sprawling distortion and choking, erratic rhythms. The song continues to dissolve further into a tense peace, the distorted guitar giving way to a smooth bass and drum groove before ultimately building up again towards a frenzied climax. The song ends with a series of strange, mechanical sounding noises that fade into the next track, “Plan”.
“Plan” is another well crafted epic, shifting from volatile and atonal to epic and uplifting, contrasting thoughtful melodies against tortured screaming. Throughout Widowmaker, Teeph successfully create progressions somehow simultaneously discordant and melodic. There’s almost a feeling of peace expressed through the smoldering guitar riffs and pounding rhythms in “Forgive”.
Widowmaker was engineered, mixed, and mastered by drummer Alex Coffin, and perhaps it’s his closeness to the music that gives this record such a unique sound. From the abstract soundscapes placed between songs, to the rich tonality of all the instruments, Coffin has given the record heart. The production is raw, but full of warmth. It feels extremely personal, like getting a private performance.
The end of the record comes all too soon. The expansive four tracks clocking in at over twenty five minutes go by surprisingly quickly. When all is said and done, Widowmaker is a concise but powerful statement. It’s the product of a group of musicians who have evolved, refined their vision, and honed their sound.
Widowmaker is available now via digital download on Teeph’s Bandcamp page. They’ll also be bringing a limited run of cassette tapes with them on their west coast tour, which may be their final string of performances. Find links and tour dates below, then go out there and get your face melted.
Teeph’s Bandcamp: https://teeph.bandcamp.com/
July 13th – Chico, CA
July 14th – Eugene, OR
July 15th – Seattle, WA
July 16th – Easton, WA
July 17th – Portland, OR
July 18th – Redding, CA
July 19th – Santa Cruz, CA
July 20th – San Francisco, CA
July 21st – Oakland, CA