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Three Rows Of Teeth (2016 expanded edition)

by Tom Slatter

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Sven B. Schreiber
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Sven B. Schreiber I accidentally bumped into "Papercuts Sunlight Snow" and downloaded it, because it sounded interesting, and the download was free. On second listen, I realized that it was just fantastic! So here I'm back again as a happily paying customer. This is prog, where the term "progressive" isn't just written on the label. It's really something I haven't heard already a thousand times before... nor a hundred times... nor... well, frankly don't remember having heard something like that before... Favorite track: The Engine That Played Through Their Honeymoon.
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about

Three Rows of Teeth is my third album. I love it. You were expecting me to be more balanced? No, I can't be. I honestly love the songwriting on this album.

The first two tracks, Three Rows of Teeth and Mother's Been Talking to Ghosts Again, were exercises in compound songwriting - a fancy way of saying I shoved together unrelated song fragments to construct them. I used a similar approach to the final three tracks which form the Time Traveller Suite.

In between are some more traditional verse-chorus songs in Self Made Man and The Engine That Played Through Their Honeymoon. The middle track of the album, These Tiny Things Are Haunting Me, starts with a scratchy mobile phone recording of an improvised tune I recorded in my classroom between classes back when I was still teaching.

The original mix and master wasn't perfect, particularly in the higher frequencies in the first few songs. This remaster isn't a money making gimmick (as if!) but a necessary admission that as an independent one-man-band I don't always get things right.

Three Rows of Teeth might end with a three part epic, but even so this album is the closest to showcasing my indie rock influences. These are all short, accessible rock songs. They tell stories, sometimes weird, sometimes macabre, sometimes romantic; they use funny time signatures, skip rapidly through ideas and take turns at funny angles; but at its heart this is an album of simple rock songwriting. And I'm very proud of it.

credits

released October 7, 2016

Written, performed, recorded, mixed and produced by Tom Slatter.
Mastered by David Elliott.

Design by Joe Slatter.

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about

Tom Slatter London

A latter-day Victorian street-theatre barker with a guitar promising tales of mystery, imagination, ‘orrible murders and bloody great waving tentacles’ is how Tom Slatter has been described. Since 2010 he has been scaring audiences with five albums and numerous EPs of storytelling songs. ... more

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Track Name: Three Rows of Teeth
It got us halfway to heaven,
Lighter than air and stranger than fiction
But then halfway to heaven
The clouds opened up and swallowed us in.

In the bowels of the clouds, were the strangest of creatures.
In the mouths of those birds
Three rows of teeth ripped the balloon apart and sent us
Tumbling, tumbling down.

Clock tower hands
Steeple for a horn
This nightmare come to life to feed

And this world
Conjured from half eaten dreaming
Scratches out a warning
Don't fly with demons
Track Name: Mother's Been Talking To Ghosts Again
An apple on a string is where such things begin
And even if you try the truth wont out
So sew your lips shut that's the thing
Keep lying and we might not swing

Cause all that we have is Mr Splitfoot's
Think of the money say,
'Mother's been talking to ghosts again'

You can read 'em cold, they won't be told
Give 'em the truth and they'll shout us both down
Stuff your ears with leather
Spike your eyeballs out
Might as well now souls well sold

Cause all that we have is Mr Splitfoot's
Think of the money say,
'Mother's been talking to ghosts again'

What's the name you want to hear,
Is that your father sir?
They crowd up on the other side for the likes of us to hear

Keep the silver piling up
Keep it cold keep it short
Tell them what they want to hear
Never found and never caught

That's the sound clinking bones
The thump of calling dead
That's the price of ignorance of believing what we said

Please don't let your conscience get the better of our business plan

Cos all that we have is Mister Splitfoot's
All for the taking, all of them fools
Think of the money say,
'Mother's Been Talking to Ghosts Again'
Track Name: Self Made Man
It began when I fixed my eyesight
Cut lenses from diamonds and glass
Tore out my eyes and reshaped the sockets
With frames of copper and brass

Then to make my arms stronger
I weaved tendons of cat gut and wire
Steam powered muscles, the might of ten me
I can lift heavy loads and not tire

I’m doing the best that I can for
I am a self made man

The town they tried to evict me
When my legs became pistons of steel
Black polished pincers are better than fingers
Oil is my only meal

Now when I clank down the streets
The townsfolk they all stop and stare
They all shy away from my whistling hellos
But I’m better and no longer care

I’m doing the best that I can for
I am a self made man

There used to be a woman who used to be my wife
I’ve cleaned off all the rust
From all the tears she cried

There’s one tiny spot, one little place, one last piece of flesh
This time tomorrow it will be replaced with gleaming wire mesh

I’m doing the best that I can for I am a self made man
Track Name: The Engine That Played Through Their Honeymoon
It's only chemicals
And who wants chemicals when engines and sparks are at hand?

Young Penelope
Fool to biology
Felt sparks of a different kind

Her young man paid attention when she walked the aisle
And the Engine that Played through their Honeymoon
Drowned out the sound of her voice
All her pleas all her letters meant nothing at all
Will he love when she's gone?

He was an engineer,
Who wants an engineer,
when a lover is what you desire?
Young Penelope
Fool to Biology
Wept tears that he never saw

Her young man built his engines while she made plans
And the Engine that Played through their Honeymoon
Drowned out the sound of her voice
All her pleas all her begging meant nothing at all
Will he love when she's gone?

When they sold her dreams of princess
They cut away her hopes
Wrapped them up in pretty bows
Sold to someone else

He was an engineer they found his fingers
In the teeth of a cog on his desk
He muttered something about what she'd done
With a hammer she found on shelf

And the Engine that played through their honeymoon
Silenced and leaking and dead
All the chemicals that mattered, the blood and the oil
Mixed on the workshop floor
Will he love her now she's gone?
Track Name: Dance Dance Dance
I saw a girl dancing on the floor
Dancing on the floor of an engine room
Her feet skipped here and there
While bricks and mortar fell

I saw a man with brass where hands should be
Weaving flashing lights in the engine room
The look upon his face
This fragile state of mind

Dance Dance Dance
While the world around you burns
Round Round Round
With a smile upon your face
Even when the sun is asleep and red up in the sky
Dance Dance Dance while the world around you burns

We're here, dancing on the floor,
Dancing on the floor as the cracks appear
But in this state of mind
Nothing stops our

Dance Dance Dance
While the world around you burns
Round Round Round
With a smile upon your face
Even when the sun is asleep and red up in the sky
Dance Dance Dance while the world around you burns
Track Name: These Tiny Things Are Haunting Me
These tiny things are haunting me
They won't get out my head
They clutch and claw they nibble at
My toes, my toes

These tiny things, they'll never stop
You feel them on your skin
Turn off the lights
And they appear they do
They do

These tiny things, they'll never know
How much I need them
Their biting teeth keep me alive
They do they do
Track Name: The Time Traveller Suite 1: What We Say Three Times Is True
Time drifts away Time isn't there
What we say three times
Cause and effect
Here then it's gone
What we say three times
What we say three times is true

The traveller awoke to the voice of a girl
Who stood at the end of his bed
'Is this the way that my death began?'
The girl with the missing eye said
Through crackling light her hands weaved and shook
And she faded and vanished from sight

Is this the way one loses a heart?
The traveller said to himself
This saga started before it began.

Out with the dirt, digging through the piles
Junkyard twisted scrap, electric motor parts
Valves, ducts and dials, beaten into place
Whirring to make my heart feel better
Fizzing to make my spirit soar

They say it'll never work, this contraption that I've built
Sold my inheritance, compulsion knows no guilt
Time to throw the switch to watch the sparks uncoil

Whirring to make my heart feel better
Fizzing to make my spirit soar
How do I trace her? How do I find the
Girl with the missing eye, cos I swear she's
Stolen my heart What we say three times is true

Swear that I'll find her, swear that she will be mine,
A stolen heart can travel through time
What we say three times is true

And as the years speed up
As the fashions tick and change
Building rise and crumble 'til nothing good remains
A time of black skies
And endless rolling night

This place, this hell is where I'll find her.
That stranger who made my spirit soar

What we say three times is true I can't help chasing you
Through the thick and thin of endless days
What we say three times is true I can't help chasing you
Through the thick and thin of eons passed

Centuries, sunrise never comes
My little empire Untouched and out of reach
Valves ducts and dials turning once again

Whirring to make my journey longer
Somewhere the face I can't escape

How do I trace her?
How do I find the Girl with the missing eye, cos I swear she's
Stolen my heart
What we say three times is true
Swear that I'll find her, swear that she will be mine,
A stolen heart can travel through time
What we say three times is true
What we say three times is true
What we say three times is true
Track Name: The Time Traveller Suite 2: Rise Another Leaf
Maybe I lost you when the roses died
Every time I see you you're younger
Every year I force apart another chance has died

So rise another leaf, fall another sunrise
I'll find the love the once found me
And melt another thaw, fall another empire
I'd bring the whole thing down to its knees

Maybe I blacked out,
Maybe I blacked out some eons past
Every time round the loop I'm stronger
Every year I see again another chance revived
So rise another leaf, fall another sunrise
I find the love the once found me
And melt another thaw, fall another empire
I bring the whole thing down to its knees
Just to be with you

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