The two Norwich duos who are wowing music critics
- Credit: Sink Ya Teeth/Charlotte Pattmore
Putting Norwich firmly on the music map, all-female duos Sink Ya Teeth and Let's Eat Grandma are both garnering rave reviews for their new albums from national music critics.
It's not often a band from Norwich is being talked of as having released a contender for album of the year.
So it is quite something to see two local all-female duos in the overwhelmingly male-dominated music business simulatiously having music critics hailing their latest releases.
The debut album from Sink Ya Teeth and I'm All Ears, the second album from Let's Eat Grandma, are both currently gaining rave reviews.
Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford — aka Sink Ya Teeth — launched their self-titled debut with a special gig at Norwich Arts Centre last week.
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It has already been winning over critics with the Guardian calling it 'thrillingly chilly, perfectly funky no-wave straight out of early 80s NYC…except Sink Ya Teeth are a duo from Norwich. In a different era they'd be all over Top of the Pops.'
The Guardian's music critic Emily Mackay added: 'If the return of LCD Soundsystem gave you punk-funk nostalgia, you need to hear Norwich duo Sink Ya Teeth.'
While picking them amongst 'six artists you need to check out', dance magazine Mixmag said: 'Hailing from the big-skied lowlands of East Anglia, Sink Ya Teeth mix Moroder-ish synths with DIY attitude and drawled post-punk style vocals, as if they were James Murphy's slightly morose nieces.'
The Quietus indentified the duo's musical touchstones are 80s house and shades of New Order and ESG and also namecheck LCD Soundsystem.
Reviewer Julian Marszalek added: 'It's this sense of juxtaposition – social awkwardness and feelings of loneliness set against the union of dancing – that beats at the heart of Sink Ya Teeth's debut. The only, minor caveat is that the songs end a little too abruptly. But there's enough good music here to listen to over and over and to get you giddy about what Sink Ya Teeth will do next.'
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Reviewers have also picked up on the fact that the duo are old hands on the Norwich scene – Cullingford formerly played bass in cult art rockers KaitO, Uzor with her gothic-bluesy project Girl in a Thunderbolt. They have built a cult fan base by releasing their homemade electro in zines and 7-inch singles.
Sam Walton, reviewer with Loud and Quiet, said: 'Their predilection for old-fashioned media suits the music: primitive drum machines rub shoulders here with monophonic synth bloops, rubbery bass lines and vocal delivery that alternates between dark yearning and icy, post-modern detachment, giving the album an undeniably retro character, as if it's just stepped out of the Hacienda at a point when its authors can barely have been toddlers.'
Let's Eat Grandma had already created waves of excitement amongst music critics with their 2016 debut album, I, Gemini, released when Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth were teenagers. It won five-star reviews internationally and led to them touring America and being the first Norwich band ever to perform on Later…with Jools Holland.
Their much anticipated follow-up album, I'm All Ears, has similuarly got critics purring their approval.
In a glowing five-star review Q music magazine stated: 'It's one of those intoxitating occasions when an artist has taken a huge unexpected leap forward.'
Reviewer Niall Doherty adds: 'They've revealed themselves as a rare brilliant talent. There is no hidden driving force. This is all them.'
In Mojo magazine Victoria Segal enthuses: 'If the circus field antics are superseded by darker, sleeker dancefloor shapes, it remains a volatile, persistently disconcerting record. As they move on Let's Eat Grandma aren't quite what they used to be, but that feels like a cause for celebration, not sorrow.'
The Arts Desk reviewer Thomas H Green said: 'Let's Eat Grandma defies convention but opens up bright new roads for popular music.'
He added: 'Where their debut was an intriguingly bizarre oddity, their new one moves towards connecting the dots with pop. This isn't to say they've suddenly mutated into a two-woman Little Mix. Far from it. However, the music – co-produced variously by David Wrench, SOPHIE and The Horrors' Faris Badwan – is now hookier, and their lyrical concerns have become less surreal, with songs such as It's Not Just Me and I Will Be Waiting concerning affairs of the heart.'
Online music site Treble said: 'You can't deny Let's Eat Grandma's ambition. With the release of I'm All Ears, Norwich natives Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth will have put out their second full-length of sprawling, techno-optimistic dance-pop.
'The two have been making music together since the halcyon days of 2013, and I'm All Ears genuinely sounds like the work of two good friends bouncing ideas off one another, trying as best they can to challenge and collaborate with one another.'
'If Let's Eat Grandma can rein it in a little and pick only their absolute favorites on their next outing, they'll have something phenomenal on their hands. They're already well on their way.'
• Let's Eat Grandma will play Epic Studios, Magdalen Street, Norwich, on July 5, 7.30pm, £10, 01603 727727, epic-tv.com