Sharptooth released their debut album, Clever Girl via Pure Noise Records

Review by Kyle Kryst


Not too many bands in the metalcore genre, or most genres of metal therefore, contain female musicians, or let alone a female vocalist. Sharptooth however stands apart from the crowd by having a female frontman vocalist (Lauren Kashan), much in the same effect as the band Iwrestledabearonce, with brutal growls, raspy outbursts, and amazing clean vocals. Keith Higgins and Lance Donati back her up on guitar while Phil Rasinski is on bass and Connor Mac on drums. I’m hoping that they inspire more female vocalists to the front, because not only is she such an amazing asset to this band and can easily match most male vocalists, but her lyrical compositions also open my eyes to a different perspective on some
serious subjects.

Sharptooth is a metalcore band that has some hardcore and Southern metal influences. Their album “Clever Girl” was released on October 27th of this year via Pure Noise, which includes songs with socially aware lyrics.

The first track off of their album, “Rude Awakening”, is an amazing way to start it off, as the instrumentals slowly build in intensity while her vocals follow suit from spoken vocals to beefy screams. A short instrumental break is then followed by another buildup of vocals with a strong chorus, “I cannot sleep. I can’t fucking breathe. I’m strangled by silence, But here I can scream.” The next track “Clever Girl” is mainly composed of gritty hardcore styled vocals with some quickly precise finger picking performed on guitar. This is a good opportunity to point out how perfect their song structure is, as the vocalist
matches her delivery of vocals with the energy packed riffs and patterns. Her soft spoken line then builds in intensity to screams as their breakdown begins, “Dead men tell no tales, Dead men talk no shit”.

“Give ‘Em Hell Kid” continues the album on by starting with a chanting protest which then transitions into slower and grimy hardcore influenced guitar and a blast beat of metalcore drums. I love the vocalist’s singing range, since she is able to add much variety. A majority of her vocals for this track are melodic cleans, but she kicks it up by slamming her guttural growls for the main point of the lyrics “Strike the match, and fire it up. We the people have spoken: We’ll start a blaze to burn down a system that’s broken.” Her use of raspy vocals for the last verse quickly changes to an unleashing of screams
for the breakdown. “Fuck You Donald Trump” starts with a belting of scream vocals right out the gate, and I must say is a banger with the blast-beat attacks doled out by drums and guitar. As one could guess from the title of this song, the lyrics contained are heavily political, with my favorite lines being the chorus, “Claiming to fight for freedom, all they fight for is greed. Striving to crush beneath them all those they’ve never freed.” Kashan is easily able to transition between drawn out and quickly performed vocals, which adds some variety to this track, right before they go batshit crazy for the breakdown.

The next few tracks honestly gave me a little bit different of a perspective for the content behind Lauren’s lyrics. “Can I Get A Hell No” focuses on masochistic men and/or fuck boys, and what is so off about them. It starts off with slightly muted instrumentals for the first few measures into the first verse, which then is accompanied by similar riffs for the verses that are lyrically similar. Southern metal seems to be a big influence for the instruments in this track as well. Following is “Jesus Loves You”, which consists of chaotic sounding guitar riffs with a crazed fanatic preaching about homosexuality as a sin,
which I guess is to show how crazed some people truly are. “No Sanctuary” begins with a high pitched elongated note from the guitar as it transitions into Kashan’s screams backed by more metalcore influenced chuggy guitar riffs and fast paced drums. The lyrics are about mass shooters and how ironic it is that most of these people are doing it in the name of religion or politics, or at least that’s what I got out of it. Slow guitar chugs highlight the breakdown with the repeated line “bullet through my head”. “Left 4 Dead” is the main other song that was able to give me another perspective on some things
through the lyrics. Uptempo instrumentals lead for the first measure and then transitions into an elongated call out. This track also shows how well their song structure is, as the instruments reflect the vocals while they switch between quickly worded screams and drawn out cleans. The lyrics seemed to be about dealing with a rapist and/or the emotions behind getting justice. Her emotions are easily felt through the breakdown of this track.

Following this track is “Rise” which heads off with some chuggy bass and melodic guitar riffs which are accompanied by elongated clean vocals for the first line. She then quickly changes to screams partway through as the instruments pick up in intensity and timbre. The lyrics fit this song perfectly as they are about wanting change, but actually doing something about it. “Blood Upon Your Hands” is the next succession for the album. Quickly paced guitar riffs start off the song, as some chugs and fast patterned drum beats slowly start to kick in. The lyrics for this track are about how others treat someone who
has a different outlook on life. “Pushing Forward” is the last track of this album, and in my opinion is the most musically variant of the whole album. This track seems to feature all of the key parts of the previous tracks, and combine it all into one. There are a lot of transitions between chuggy guitar and drums for scream vocals, and slightly calmer stuff for her cleans. Kashan also brings in a repeated verse from the first track “Rude Awakening”, which starts with “This is the place where I….” and keeps it going for the last couple of verses. The lyrics for this song seem to be about staying true to oneself,
which is a very important lesson to learn.

The key components that worked out for Sharptooth’s album “Clever Girl” were Kashan’s remarkable vocal range, their ability to transition between different styles, and their advanced song structure that makes up the backbones of it all. Altogether, I thought that “Clever Girl” was a kick-ass album and is definitely worth checking out.


Purchase/Stream Clever Girl:

About The Author

Lisa Holt is a music photographer who grew up in the Bay Area music scene and was part of the historic 80's thrash metal culture. Lisa's work has been published in international magazines as well as various music print ads.

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