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Baby Teeth reviewed

| July 29, 2009

Hustle Beach


We’ve all been there. You sit on the couch with a shit-eating grin, chuckling and guffawing away at a comedy you’ve seen a hundred times since high school while the person sitting beside you utters those infernal words, “This is stupid.” (This person who loves you?) And you say, “What are you talking about? This is brilliant!”

Appearing: Saturday, August 1st at Schubas in Chicago.

Chicago’s Baby Teeth have been dismissed by a lot of people for their aesthetics, and the ’80s-soundtrack feel of Hustle Beach won’t do a lot to change that. Coming off like the super-ironic cousin of The Hold Steady (complete with “whoa-ohs”) on opener “Big Schools,” Abraham Levitan (formerly Pearly Sweets) rattles on about the big game and scoring the hot girl while puffy synths and bliggum beats lather the quad beneath him. But, like when Craig Finn told us Holly was in the hospital on “First Night,” Levitan returns from the solo with a verse in the present about how despite flat-screens the kids want nothing to do with their All-American folks.

For Levitan, Hustle Beach and its characters (you’ll wish “Snake Eyes” was your theme song) inhabit a world across the pond from Radiohead’s “No Surprises.” Suburban ennui and ostensibly its hopelessness have been de rigueur in film from The Graduate through Ordinary People and American Beauty, they’ve just never sounded like Andy Samberg’s Hot Rod. Until now. And it’s fucking brilliant.


Steve Forstneger

Click here to download “Big Schools.”

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Category: Spins, Weekly

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