If you’ve been through an aquarium field trip or can remember the five “cool” things you learned in biology, you probably remember the deal with a shark’s teeth. They’re shed like fingernails, regenerative mouth-bones with more on deck behind the first row, and so on. Some species grow thousands through their lifetime. They’re also some of our most recognizable relics from previous geologic periods or eerie windows into today’s oceans, occupying most of the earth but largely unknowable to the billions of people who are supposed to be their stewards.
Sharks’ Teeth the band — the synthesizer-based project from prolific New Orleans songwriter Tyler Scurlock — lines up onstage in a row, each performer behind an array of vintage synthesizers and drum machines, a loose Kraftwerk-inspired assemblage. Scurlock has recorded more than a dozen albums as Sharks’ Teeth, first as a sort of bedroom project for his synth obsession, gradually taking shape as a full-band outfit performing fragile dance music, often performed in an ambitious quadraphonic setup. That lineup depends on the antique vessels in front of it, on the edge of needing replacement or repair but conquering death for one gig until the next.
Tyler Scurlock weaves among four heads bobbing behind several stacks of synthesizers and a drape of cables seemingly holding it all together l…
For 2018 EP “Orlando’s Bloom,” Scurlock, Devin Hildebrand, Shelby Grosz and Emily Hafner recorded to one 1-inch tape reel, produced by Andrew Rudolph Plovnick and Will Hagan and untouched by software or any kind of digital manipulation until its release. (Its liner notes come with the assurance that “no sound made by these instruments is ever the same twice and the tape this album was made on degraded and swelled from the tracking and humidity.”)
Its slow, spaced-out passages are anchored in familiar dinky-sounding church organs backed by pitter-pat drum machines, then warped in analog and layered with bass riffs, additional keys and stretched-out vocal melodies. A version of “Lost in the Cosmos” from Sharks’ Teeth’s excellent 2016 full-length album “It Transfers & Grows” (Gigantic Noise) is dialed-down into a ghostly version of itself. Single “Bass VI of Love” modulates between two escalating notes like a dying machine sputtering out its final message. It’s the slow death of one row of old bones, but there’s real flesh behind them.
Lafayette’s Scenic World and Amelia Neville open at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at Banks Street Bar, 4401 Banks St., (504) 486-0258; www.facebook.com/banksbar.