Let’s get two things straight: Sharptooth is an awesome band, and this album is absolutely incredible. This hardcore/punk outfit hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, give zero fucks. Instead of holding back from speaking their thoughts, they’re brutally honest and passionate in their songwriting, and they use their platform to the best of their abilities. The band’s debut release, Clever Girl, features songs like “Fuck You Donald Trump” and “No Sanctuary,” and, if those titles don’t instantly tell you what kind of social and political message they’re spreading, it’s loud and clear in their lyricism and the way they contrast staggering words with aggressive and “in-your-face” riffs and vocal patterns.
ALBUM REVIEW // CLEVER GIRL BY SHARPTOOTHJanuary 17, 2018
The album tackles subjects far beyond just social and political injustice, also focusing on the detrimental effects of homophobia, racism, and sexism in today’s world. One of the most powerful tracks on the album, “Left 4 Dead,” for example, brings into light the harsh reality of sexual violence, lack of consent, and victim blaming towards women. To me, this was definitely one of the stronger songs lyric-wise. It begins with “hush little baby, don’t say a word. You’re gonna get what you deserve. If you didn’t get drunk, or wear that dress, then would I think that no means yes?” – serving as a constant reminder that rape culture and victim-blaming are very real and prevalent in today’s society. The rest of the song continues as a vengeful response to that first verse, with vocalist Lauren Kashan making it clear that [she] is no longer afraid to speak out: “For too long I’ve waged this war, victims of violence suffer in silence. But I can’t be silent anymore. Any fucking more.”
Another track that I really loved–due to its musicality as well as its intention–was “Can I Get A Hell No.” This song serves almost as a “fuck you” to every single person who views women (or anyone, really) as nothing more than an object for sexual pleasure or entertainment. More specifically, it is aimed towards men who cat-call women on a daily basis. The lyrical content is awesome, because people who might not experience what it’s like to be catcalled doing normal every day things (such as grocery shopping, pumping gas, etc) can get a glimpse into what it’s like to feel unsafe regardless of where you are and what you’re doing. Women deal with this constantly, yet very few bands have the guts to speak out about this kind of stuff. Sonically, this song is incredibly heavy from the beginning all the way through the end.
Overall, Clever Girl is a very diverse album, and it couldn’t have been a better debut for the world to hear what Sharptooth is all about. The lyrical content, as mentioned earlier, is incredibly honest and exactly the wake-up call society–and our music scene–needs. Lauren Kashan’s vocals are out of this world — you can almost hear the feelings she’s describing in all of the songs through her aggressive delivery. With this release, Sharptooth have proven that they can stand out amongst most hardcore bands today, and I can’t wait to see what endeavors they take on in the coming months.
REVIEW BY ANA MASSARD