Chicago natives Clay Frankel, singer from Twin Peaks, and producer Chris Bailoni decided on a drunk whim in 2015 to make music together. 3 years later, they released their debut, self-titled album, Grapetooth.
Grapetooth’s dreamy 80s synth-pop vibes sound like the musical representation of the kid wearing sunglasses in the breakfast club. The first track, “Violent” sets the tone with bright synths and a retro drum machine. Frankel’s rugged vocals yell the question, “Are you violent?” over and over, bringing high, robust energy to the track..
The second track, “Red Wine,” sounds just like its name. The lazy bass line and droning synths under sleepy vocals drenched in reverb capture the fuzzy feeling of drinking too much wine perfectly. It’s chill, relaxed tone is a great contrast to the vibrance of “Violent,” a pattern that is continued throughout the album.
Perhaps most emblematic of Grapetooth’s sound is the album’s second last track, “Blood.” The track features Bailoni’s most diverse drums and it feels like this is where Frankel has the most fun with his vocals. The track ends in a two minute instrumental that crescendos into silence, providing the raw 80s-style jam session style that Grapetooth has cultivated so perfectly.
The album is cohesive from start to finish, and is a great start for the emerging duo. Their fresh bright tones and wacky lyrics and instrumentals make the album more than worth listening to, and it is no wonder why they are making a huge buzz in the Chicago music scene.