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Sharpen Your Teeth

Ugly Casanova

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Album Review

The story behind Sharpen Your Teeth is odd yet plausible: a mentally unstable character named Edgar Graham (calling himself Ugly Casanova) met up with Modest Mouse, followed them around on tour, recorded some songs, gave the recordings to labels, and then mysteriously disappeared. Songs on tapes discovered by Sub Pop were later recorded by Issac Brock of Modest Mouse in hopes that Graham would resurface. The first solo record from the singer/guitarist, Sharpen Your Teeth, cuts into raw indie rock with spells of country and folk, while allowing Brock to explore a varying scope of sounds. He gets help from Brian Deck (whose production credits include Tortoise and the Sea and Cake), Tim Rutili of Red Red Meat, and Pall Jenkins of the Black Heart Procession. Ranging from heartfelt acoustic numbers ("Cat Faces") to outright bizarreness with grating vocals ("Diamonds on the Face of Evil"), there's no doubt that the mood sometimes coincides with the enigmatic Graham.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

According to legend, "Ugly Casanova" is the pen name used by a crazed Modest Mouse fan named Edgar Graham who broke into the band's show in Denver in 1998. Intrigued by the man's journals full of potential song lyrics, frontman Issac Brock assembled a hodgepodge of Pacific Northwestern friends to realize some of the words as songs in 2000. The resulting album, Sharpen Your Teeth, appeared in May 2002 on Sub Pop. In this incarnation, Ugly Casanova was the work of Brock, Brian Deck and Tim Rutili (of...
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Sharpen Your Teeth, Ugly Casanova
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