Since self-releasing their 2017 campus radio hit cassette EP, Meditation Tape, Necking have become fixtures of Vancouver’s fertile DIY community, playing non-stop with live shows nearly every weekend. Bringing this stage-honed performance into the studio, the band’s four members—singer Hannah Karren, guitarist Nada Hayek, bassist Sonya R, and drummer Melissa Kuipers—worked in collaboration with acclaimed producer Jesse Gander (Japandroids, White Lung). Cut Your Teeth, the band’s first release from Mint Records, amplifies their sinewy sound while maintaining its agitated energy and tightly coiled instrumental interplay.
Like all the best punk bands, Necking’s members pull from many different genre-defined boundaries, spanning everything from ‘90s emo to grunge, disco, and drone. One band they can all agree on is X-Ray Spex, whose singer Poly Styrene channeled her day-to-day life into Day Glo songs of resistance. On their signature 1978 song “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!”, she flips the bird to anyone who thinks “little girls should be seen and not heard.” Necking carry on this tradition with fearlessly personal, occasionally painful, and empowering lyrics based on their own experiences. On “Big Mouth,” Karren proclaims, “can’t make me cum/so I made you leave,” before adding, “it was way hotter in your memory.” On the sarcasm-dripping “Boss,” her gaze turns to “the man in charge of her livelihood” who can “get it,” while the feverish “Habbo Hotel” flashes back to their formative A/S/L experiences.
Cut Your Teeth is about finding independence after being stuck in a cycle of codependence. It’s about being fixated on the wrong thing and figuring out how to pay attention to yourself instead. The songs are about loss, getting too involved with your boss and living in a studio apartment. At its core, this album is about trying to navigate relationships of all kinds—romantic, friendly, professional—and fucking up a lot, but making it work. The album is loud, angry, funny, and deals with everyday experiences. It’s about being bummed, but in a fun and sexy way!