The Peppermints – Sweet Tooth Abortion

The Peppermints
Sweet Tooth Abortion

The cover of The Peppermint’s newest release, Sweet Tooth Abortion, blatantly misleads and misrepresents the contents. Colorfully adorned with cartoonish pink writing and shiny red and white candies, one might expect to hear an equally sugary sound from this all female, three-member band from San Diego. Think again. There is nothing sugary, sweet, or nice about these girls; only 17 when the band formed in 1997, they’ve lost none of their edge during the intervening five years. Sweet Tooth Abortion is an unabated barrage of noisy, tuneless guitars, pounding drums, and throat-damaging screams.
The tone is set immediately with the first track, “Rodeo,” one minute of inaudible, angry howling of the sort that hasn’t been heard since the second side of Nirvana’s heroin-inspired Insesticide. When the lyrics are audible, they are far from conventional: “Your jeans are tight just how I like / give me what I want tonight” they sing in the first verse of “Octopus,” before breaking into the blunt repeating chorus “Give me what I want.” The song “Nancy” features a funky yet raw guitar topped by ear-piercing screams – no lyrics were deemed necessary. The howls subside only briefly on “Never Matter,” a mid-album intermission of sorts that features a slower guitar behind low-key, muttering vocals.
While a lot of artists aim for a lo-fidelity, raw, “uncommercial” sound, they usually keep enough radio-friendly tracks lying around to help them sell a few copies and make the venture worthwhile. The Peppermints ignore this convention, and every single one of the dozen tracks on the album are abrasive enough to give your grandmother a heart attack. While the blatant rawness of the music is refreshing, it’s certainly not an easy listen for anyone accustomed to songs with melody, rhythm, and coherence. That said, what The Peppermints lack in articulation they more than make up for in pure, unabashed emotional energy. Strangely, for something that seethes with so much anger, this disc left me smiling.