By Jeremy Handel
Wow. That is the only thing close to a sound I was able to make after listening to City of the Weak’s new album “Pulling Teeth.” Available June 22nd, 2018, “Pulling Teeth” is the band’s first full-length release. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing them live or listening to one of their previous releases, Minneapolis’ COTW has an AFI/MCR kind of feel, with powerful vocals courtesy of front-woman, Stef with an F. From the writing to the instrumentals to the production, everyone involved with “Pulling Teeth” shines and showcases their love of their craft.
When I was making my usual list of initial faves, I found myself making special mention of damn near every song. I decided that wasn’t going to cut it, so I started the list over and really listened for songs I felt truly stood out. It wasn’t easy, but when you listen to the album, I suggest paying double attention to “Trust Nobody,” “Censor This,” and “Drag Us Under.” Behind those three songs, there is a preternatural angst that’s equal parts aggressive and soothing. The invariably engaging guitar (Cody Hoffman), heart-thumping bass (Brent Lindblad), and hard-hitting drums (Eric Sommers and Jason Hirt) on each track combine perfectly with the vocals, forming a cohesive album that rock fans of all generations will definitely love.
Forgive me in advance for all of the doting, but I feel it’s necessary. Not only do I think Stef w/ an F has an incredible voice, I am now officially a massive fan of her lyric-writing. There is something very personal in all of the lyrics on “Pulling Teeth.” I would venture to guess that Stef w/ an F has been through some shit and you can hear a sense of triumph and failure in her music that’s incomparably relatable. The end result is a passionate album which I will definitely keep in rotation for a while.