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Sharpen Your Teeth

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 28 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop-Internation.
  • ASIN: B0000666WE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,433 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Barnacles
2. Spilled Milk Factory
3. Parasites
4. Hotcha Girls
5. (No Song)
6. Diamonds On The Face Of Evil
7. Cat Faces
8. Ice On The Sheets
9. Beesting
10. Pacifico
11. Smoke Like Ribbons
12. Things I Don't Remember
13. So Long To The Holidays

Product Description

Product Description

Ugly Casanove is otherwise known as the solo project/alter-ego of Isaak Brock, mastermind of the widely acclaimed Modest Mouse.


It's hard to say what distinguishes this from a de facto Modest Mouse release, other than the fact that the only carryover member is singer-songwriter Isaac Brock. But this is hardly a problem, considering the flannel-clad Northwestern trio is one of the most engaging and inventive avant-garde rock bands America has to offer, right up there with the Flaming Lips and Built to Spill. Sharpen Your Teeth doesn't miss a step, throwing up a familiar mix of lovesick vocals, funeral march rhythms, and terminally discordant song arrangements. "Diamonds on the Face of Evil" floats on a haunting bed of clarinets and rattling chains, while "Things I Don't Remember" charts the unlikely meeting point between psychedelic period Rolling Stones and early Tom Waits. Side projects historically serve as a venue for self-indulgence for disgruntled band members, but for Brock--working with former Red Red Meat members Tim Rutili and Brian Deck, the Black Heart Procession's Pall Jenkins, and friend John Orth--it appears Ugly Casanova is merely a way to keep a foot in the indie world, since Modest Mouse signed with Epic two years ago. As luck (and contractual obligations) would have it, the group's debut album is also its last, so the confusion is only fleeting. --Aidin Vaziri

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Sharpen Your Teeth is an exquisitely absurd piece of art that proves fact is stranger than fiction. Apparently, Isaac Brock went completely off hallucinogens to make this album, and it seems that what comes out of his soul when he's straight is often more serenely twisted than when he's tripping mushrooms.
For the tracks themselves, "Cat Faces," "Barnacles," "Hotcha Girls," and "Smoke like Ribbons" do it for me, and it would seem quite a few other people reviewing here. They are so beautiful and emotive. "Parasites" is also a great song, and while perhaps not likely to bring a tear to your eye like the first four I mentioned, it's a great example of Brock's diabolical sense of humor that proves he doesn't take himself too seriously.
Sharpen Your Teeth is a great album, and anyone who's a fan of unique music should have a copy. This type of art will never be appreciated by most people, but then again, that's part of what makes it so special.
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Format: Audio CD
The story behind Sharpen Your Teeth is quite interesting. I've heard several different versions from various reviews and fanzines, so I'm going to do my best to be accurate. Ugly Cassanova was a roadie for Modest Mouse that wrote constantly. (In fact, you would notice his name in the writing credits of the "Whenever You See Fit" single.) Little was known about his background. Occasionally, he would record demos of his songs. Eventually, he just disappeared, so MM frontman Isaac Brock got together with members of Califone and Red Red Meat to record their interpretation of Ugly's songs as a way to hopefully find out what ever happened to him.
The songs are simply gorgeous, and are best described as a cleaned up, more accessable Modest Mouse. The catchy riffs of Hotcha Girls, the twisted folk of Smoke Like Ribbons, and the sheer catchiness of Things I Don't Remember are arguably the best contributions to this stellar album.
Any Modest Mouse fan, especially those who loved Moon and Antarctica, should take special notice of this album. Also, anyone who loved Modest Mouse and Califones' take on Slayer's "South of Heaven" on the I Love Metal comp may also want to give this album a listen. (In fact, MM should look into more projects with Califone, because this album and that cover prove they make a wonderfail team.)
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Format: Audio CD
If you are looking for a modest mouse album, don't look to Ugly casanova for an answer. Yes it is the side project for Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse and it is a lot like some Modest Mouse songs, but it is also much diffrent. Its clear that it is the work of Brock who does the lions share of song writing for Modest Mouse, but there are so many elements that seperate it from his work in Modest Mouse. The producer from Modest Mouse's "the Moon and Antartica" also produced and played on "Sharpen Your Teeth", which also gives this album a bit of the Modest Mouse sound. The songs are involved more with total sound, not just sounds of guitars, bass, and drums. There are a variety of instruments used such as clarinets, keyboards, slide guitar, banjo, harmonica, drum machines, violin, mandolin, organ, and a fiddle. It is easy to see the similarities to Modest Mouse through the harmonies, voice overs, reverb, twisted an ironic lyrics, and many other elements. Ugly Casanova never really rocks at any point like Modest Mouse. There are also other vocals on tracks other than Isaac Brock's including John Orth, Tim Rutili, and more. The song "Spilled Milk factory" almost sounds a little like Ween for a minute. There are a lot of different sounds from psychadelia, country, rock, and some beats mixed in , which combine beautifully. All in all if you are looking for another Modest Mouse album, this isn't it. If you enjoy Modest Mouse chances are you'll like this album and notice some familiar elements. Its a different kind of album to say the least. Just get it and give it a chance.
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Format: Audio CD
I respect the opinion of the reviewer from St. Pete(rsberg) who claims the album is like Modest Mouse throwaways, but I disagree. As much as I think that Modest Mouse is one of the few bands to be creating fresh music in an industry that holds up vanilla pop like "The Strokes" as something to write home about, I think their albums tend to have a few throwaways, usually the songs that quickly lead to loud thrashing. But Ugly Casanova plays like Modest Mouse fused with Tom Waits' "Mule Variations." It more than once goes for the "Big in Japan" chain-slapping beat (which itself was redoing the classic "Clap Hands"). These songs are not Modest Mouse throwaways: in fact, the main thing that distinguishes these songs from Modest Mouse is exactly the fact that the songs eschew the electric thrashing. With more acoustic sensibility, the songs play around with their elements like Waits has in recent years: sorta' German avant-guarde theater meets drunk lounge songwriter. For the most part, it works, though the album has less replay value than, say, "Moon and Antarctica" (kinda' like late Waits is less replayable than early Waits). One minor gripe is that Isaac Brock, more than ever, relies on monotone shout-talking. I wish the guy would realize that he actually CAN sing, and that songs like MM's "Custom Concern" are rather nice, and that when not careful, he can come off like a bad white-boy rapper. But these are quibbles. This is a great album for those who want to hear Brock et. al. play around with song structure and instrumentation.
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