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Sharptooth - Clever Girl album review

Baltimore’s hardcore punks bring the fight to the barricades

This Baltimore band’s snarling brand of street punk and explosive, politically infused hardcore fights on the frontlines of equality and justice. Vocalist Lauren Kashan effortlessly transitions between clean and unclean vocals, trading full-pelt yells for feisty singing or spokenword segments and defiantly tackles hate speech, sexual assault, mental illness and more. And the unapologetic lyrics are as critical to the formula as the riffs here. Left 4 Dead is as painful as it is brutal, while Fuck You Trump and Blood Upon Your Hands combine blistering screams and moments that sound like a breathy Tairrie B. Can I Get A Hell No seamlessly blends crushing breakdowns and Southern groove and No Sanctuary deliciously resembles RATM. However, it’s the biting first single and title track that captures the band at their best. Whatever the favourite, though, this is a debut to be proud of.