Sharptooth’s “Transitional Forms” is a hardcore smash hit (review)

The genre of hardcore is ever-expanding and bringing new bands into the fold left and right. It’s easy to overlook some, but one that’s worth your time is Sharptooth. This fresh act on the scene dropped an impressive debut in Clever Girl, and is following it up with their sophomore LP on Pure Noise, Transitional Forms. This is one I’m excited to delve into:

We start with single “Say Nothing (In the Absence of Content)” and it’s evident that Sharptooth isn’t wasting a second of time to introduce themselves to the listener’s ears. In the vein of Code Orange and Oathbreaker, Sharptooth’s Lauren Kashan is large and in charge, with resounding heaviness in her delivery. She brings massive excitement in this track’s second half, starting off with “Now this is the part of the song Where we’re gonna slow shit way down for you So you can all kill each other,” as tongue-in-cheek as can be, a true delight to hear.

“Mean Brain” starts with a strange sample into another huge riff. A self-deprecating track, it nails its lyrical theme and adds melody before breaking down into a brutal closer. “Life on the Razor’s Edge” slows things down for a more focused outing, displaying that Sharptooth can work both quick and deliberate with equal, strong results.

Things pick back up with “Hirudenea,” where credit is due in the mosh call: “You are nothing more than a fraud” into a bouncy hook. Kashan’s versatility comes out in the variety of both shouts and screams in this track. The closing line is particularly scathing, and I’ll let the listener hear it for themselves upon release. “The Gray” is the last single, boasting the fastest pace yet and even features some clean vocals to shake things up.

“Evolution” absolutely storms out of the gate with blast beats in tow. This piece has some guest vocals to add to its complexity, and makes the most out of its 3-minute runtime. “153” brings me back to The Chariot/Every Time I Die’s obtuse guitars and empowered vocals. Kashan pulls out an extremely long scream ahead of the most crushing breakdown on Transitional Forms, making this my highlight track.

“The Southern Strategy” breaks out the double bass for more great riffage, including a triplet-laden breakdown I’m tempted to mosh to. “M.P.D.B.” is a traditionally-short hardcore romp, ramping up to a nice, sludgy breakdown that’s the meat of the track. Last up is “Nevertheless (She Persisted),” a quaint summation of the lyrical premise of Transitional Forms and a hard-hitter once again.

With their second album, Sharptooth have done more than enough to solidify that they are one of the premier rising bands in hardcore. Bangers like “131” and “Hirudenea” are exemplary deep cuts that deserve just as many plays as the singles. Keep an eye on Sharptooth, as their mosh calls should dominate 2021’s live show culture.

Rating: 8.5/10

A press copy of Transitional Forms was provided courtesy of Big Picture Media.