Baltimore hardcore act Sharptooth is hitting the scene hard, with their debut full-length record release and tour alongside Anti-Flag falling back to back. They have received recognition from groups like Stick to Your Guns and built their own cult following on the east coast. It serves not just as Sharptooth’s debut but as a manifesto for their own social and political frustrations. With Lauren Kashan as the mouthpiece, they are clearly not afraid to scream if that is what it takes to make themselves heard.
Clever Girl has a very direct political and feminist message. Though their influences and sound lean towards Every Time I Die and Stick to Your Guns, their lyrics are more similar to L7 or Against Me! It will be interesting to see how punk and hardcore fans receive Sharptooth, especially outside the left-leaning Northeast, in scenes dominated by straight white men. Topics on Clever Girl include catcalling, f*ckbois, and literal arson and song titles include “F*ck You Donald Trump,” “Jesus Loves You,” and “Can I Get a Hell No.” Sharptooth is clearly not afraid to be divisive with their aggressive and confrontational approach to hardcore music.
Clever Girl is loaded with a sense of hostile empowerment that can be contagious to those who buy it. For many, however, it will be hard to embrace a record so direct, that largely and intentionally lacks poetry and symbolism. Perhaps some personal touches would have taken things to a more relatable place lyrically but this record is a manifesto, not an autobiography. Not everyone can relate to the overwhelming sense of aggression Sharptooth brings to their musical fight for justice, but they clearly do not care. Lyrics like “I think it’s time to make them hate us even more” and “I’m done with trying to be nice” stick a middle finger to anyone who’s not onboard with their approach.
Regardless of their approach, we have not seen a female hardcore vocalist with this level of grit and aggression in a long time. Sharptooth has live shows that have become notorious for their energy and explosiveness. Their tour alongside Anti Flag is sure to be a major event this winter.
To purchase Sharptooth’s debut album Clever Girl, click here!