BARE TEETH: First the Town, Then the World: CD

This French band is carrying the torch for the ‘90s Fat Wreck Chords-style skate punk. The musicianship is excellent all around and there’s some killer riffage, a la Strung Out. The songs are a little predictable, with their fast-slow-fast template and solo sections. With time and writing experience, these things can be improved upon in the future. But, ultimately, what’s really keeping Bare Teeth from rising above, is the vocals. The lead vocalist just doesn’t have that unique, strong voice that propelled bands of their ilk to the forefront in times past. Do you remember Osker? 98 Mute? Maybe the names, but certainly not the music. Those bands just didn’t have the songs or the vocals that Strung Out, Lagwagon, No Use, et al had in spades. Same deal here. This is only their first release, so there’s plenty of time to improve. –Chad Williams (Pro Rawk, prorawk.com)