Sink Ya Teeth’s debut was one of 2018’s most charming albums, weaving a tapestry of New Order-tinged machine funk with a side of bedroom DIY aesthetic to make a record as loveable as it was addictive. Two years on, the duo of Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford return for a follow-up cut largely from the same cloth, but this time a little rounder and fully realised in its first half, and a little more expansive and exploratory in its second.
Accordingly, the opening trio of songs add irresistible four-to-the-floor drum programming to rubbery basslines, make-the-face filter sweeps, and Uzor’s whispery sibilance with even more guile and heft than before, with ‘Somewhere Else’ in particular building into the kind of icy, heads-down epic of which Underworld might have once been proud.
On side two, the duo – never afraid to wear an influence on their sleeve – broaden their musical net somewhat, and dabble with straight-up post-punk (‘Shut Down’), a touch of industrial (‘On The One’) and, on closer ‘Blue Room’, something impressively if incongruously gothic, all crunchy guitars and histrionic vocal delivery. If the results are slightly more uneven here than earlier, it’s by no means fatal to the record as a whole. Indeed, one experiment, ‘Breathe’ – the cleanest, airiest thing they’ve ever done – is quietly revelatory, emblematic of a band developing rather appealingly, with just the right combination of ambition and integrity. Bring on album three.