Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music, Artist Feature,   From Issue 652   By: Chris Galligan

10th January, 2008     0

What happens when you take rock & roll, mix it with trace elements of hip-hop and strychnine, drown it in PBR, comb in danceable break downs and enchanting sing a longs, and sprinkle good old fashioned (non manufactured) punk rock on top? You get Kalamazoo Locals "Their Teeth Will be of Lions" - a band you should acquaint yourself with.

This band is a six-piece outfit consisting of two vocalists utilizing their male and female dynamics, one guitar, one keyboardist, one bass player, and one drummer.

Lead singer Glenn Michael Willis mixes various hooks and one-liners in various degrees, while he shimmies across the stage with this Jimmy Stuart suicidal sexual swagger to his hips before throwing into a hip-hop funk rhythm.

Opposite Glenn is vocalist Jenn Hampshire who is Audrey Hepburn glamorous, reflecting electric sex as she croons the audience in her Venus like silhouette. Derek Feltner's guitar work is almost as bipolar as Glenn's on stage persona, as it shifts between styles. "Jonny G" and "Bass-Adam" comprise a solid back bone of the music, walking it through tantric jazzy up's and downs mixed with the reverb of old school punk 4/4 patterns shifting like calligraphy into something beautiful, making the perfect accoutrement to Jon's style of drumming.

All of this set to the stylings of newcomer Josh Finck's very danceable keyboard architecture. The music itself does not adhere to any particular pattern or category of style, and the band reflects that every time they take the stage.

I was recently privileged through a good friend to sit down and spend some time with this band. The group formed out of the ashes of a previous rock & roll endeavor known as "Search Party for Mel." They spoke fondly of their time in the previous band, and Glenn cited it as a very positive learning experience for TTWBOL. When asked what happened to the old, awkward glances we're passed around and "Bass-Adam" spoke up with one simple answer "we grew up."

The name "Their Teeth Will be of Lions" comes from Revelations. Lead singer Glenn picked nine months ago. It's a chapter that seemed to stick with Glenn. He chalked the experience up as being very positive and very different. "It was the first funeral in my life where I wasn't there in mourning, but out of support for my friend."

The band considers itself a plethora of styles, sort of a pop culture soup. When asked about different styles the band seemed caught in a tight spot. Considering how many styles are brought together at a TTWBOL show it's hard to tell what influences were brought together to make such a band. Mutually agreed upon across all six digits of the band is that the "yeah yeah yeah's" were defiantly a huge influence.

"Bass-Adam" drew a lot of influences from his surroundings, and old jazz bassist Jocko Pastoras. Jon's biggest influence was his father who was musician himself, thus exposing him to music, and the subsequent process of making music at a very young age. "Someone told me we sounded like Mr. BungleŠ I can die happy now," said a very serious Hampshire.

If you're ever privileged enough to come see TTWBOL its kind of like going to the zoo. "It's a lot like watching monkey'sŠwe're random and unpredictable" said Feltner.

The two vocalist dynamic works very well for the band as the dance swing and sway with the sounds. Often times the band takes the show to new levels of crowd participation inciting riotous dance movements from the crowd, random silly string spraying, and of course one can't forget the marvelous costumes.

The costumes are a different variety each time, mostly focusing on themes. The most dominant is shirts and ties for the boys, and a short skirt for the girl. This isn't your average local band putting up a façade for entertainment. This is madness run amok. Animal costumes and an orgy of madness ensue as the band dances through their catchy tunes laden with various degrees of hooks.

Glenn stated most eloquently that he felt pop music creates a stigma. "People forget they like what they like once they find out what they like is popular- we don't want our music scene in a box."

TTWBOL has several shows focused around the Kalamazoo area coming up in the next couple of months and hope to branch out in the state.

Be sure to check their myspace page for more information.


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