I first heard the band Black Tooth Grin (BTG) a few years ago at a battle of the bands. The battle was made up of mostly young, immature bands with a smattering of more established, more experienced bands--a couple of which really stood out. BTG was one of those stand-out bands.
Together in some form or another since 2003, this self-described "southern metal" band finds inspiration in the likes of Pantera, Black Label Society and Clutch. BTG's sound includes insistent, pounding guitar riffs that push heavy drum and bass lines in and around vocalist Justin's voice--not overpowering him, but not letting up either.
On "Fallout," the CD's title track, a single, almost twangy guitar invokes a humid, mosquito-filled evening in the bayou, with lead singer Justin laying down chords that hint at the possibility that something dark and dangerous is about to rise out of the swamp even though the song is only a repetitive guitar line and vocals. Justin's voice, though bent, is clear and pure and full of emotion. It's one of the most powerful tracks on the album.
BTG's long-awaited debut CD, Fallout, shows a maturity not often seen on a first CD. And though it's only their first CD, there's a history here: They've added ex-Van Zant drummer Randy Baxter to the lineup. This band has found a sound they like and a sound they're good at, and they're sticking to it.
May 26, Black Tooth Grin with Mortal Enemy, Half the World and O.C.D., 8 p.m., $5, Big Easy, 416 S. 9th St., 208-367-1212, www.bigeasyconcerts.com. To hear a sample of BTG's music, visit www.myspace.com/blacktoothgrin.