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5uu's Hunger's Teeth album cover
4.12 | 85 ratings | 9 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Well... Not Chickenshit (6:35)
2. Roan (3:03)
3. Mangate (2:55)
4. Geronimo (4:51)
5. Glue (2:41)
6. Opportunity Bangs (5:18)
7. The Shears (1:25)
8. Bachelor Needle (2:16)
9. Truth, Justice, and the American Way (5:35)
10. Equus (5:06)
11. Traveler Waits for No One (3:27)

Total Time 43:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Drake / vocals, basses, guitars, violin
- Sanjay Kumar / keyboards
- David Kerman / drums, guitars, keyboards, percussion, noises

- Thomas DiMuzio / sounds, electronics (3)
- James Grigsby / guitar solo & vibes (1), bass (8)
- Michelle Bos / samples & sounds (4,9)
- Susanne Lewis / vocals (10,11)

Releases information

Artwork: James Grigsby and Sanjay Kumar

CD ReR Megacorp ‎- RéR 5uu1 (1994, US)

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5UU'S Hunger's Teeth ratings distribution

(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

5UU'S Hunger's Teeth reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars "Hunger's Teeth" is one of the top-rated prog albums to come out during the 1990s. This album combines phat Squire-inspired bass riffs with 20th Century avant-garde classical influences and ZAPPA's love of combining different musical genres. If you have always wondered about Rock-in-opposition, but never knew where to start, "Hunger's Teeth" is a perfect introduction. You can expect short, and catchy, tracks that have all of the elements that make RIO so interesting to listen to.
Review by The Hemulen
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What's this? The soundtrack to Jon Anderson's nightmares? Well, not quite, but there can be no denying that Bob Drake's vocal contributions are uncannily similar to that of Yes' impish frontman. The music, however, couldn't be more polarised. Dark, surreal, uncompromising, complex. 5uu's are avant-prog to the core, with a strong RIO iinfluence

This is tightly arranged, expertly produced and free from needlessly rambly passages (the longest track is a mere 6:35). It's important not to underestimate sense of harmony here either. RIO/avant-prog bands are sometimes accused of eschewing harmony and melody in favour of random discordance - not remotely so in this case. Dissonance is used appropriately and never seems gratuitous. After all, one track is even a tongue-in-cheek barber shop song!

Highlights: "Well. Not Chickensh*t", "Mangate", "Opportunity Bangs", "The Shears"

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album was my first experience with 5uu's, the band led by David Kerman. "Hunger's Teeth" was an absolute pleasure - I was literally blown away by this energetic combination of Univers Zero, Zappa's most bizarre facet and Art Bears' colorfulness, stating an uncompromisingly experimental approach to rock that preserves its punch through the complex dynamics instilled in each track. The album kicks off with 'Well. Not Chicken[&*!#]', a vital, complex manifesto of the kind of musical journey one has to expect from 5uu's. The humanly impossible chord progressions bear an aura of rebellion akin to the ideology of Cutler, Frith & co. 'Roan' brings a martial atmosphere set in a surreal ambience of spectral moods, reminding me of Krause-era Henry Cow with a taste of Art Bears. And what do we find in 'Mangate', 'Geronimo' and 'Glue'? Consecutively: lousy radio wave transmissions a-la Faust; exotic cadences recycled through a meticulous deconstruction of weird colors and textures; yet another tribute to the defiantly playful spirit of Art Bears. This peculiar trilogy pretty much incarnates the unorthodox approach of 5uu's. 'Opportunity Bangs' continues exploring the Henry Cow/Art Bears heritage, with an extra touch of Dadaistic humor that resonates from the Cartoon days (therefore, an indirect reference to Zappa at his most theatrical). Those tortured lead guitar's phrases that combine Fripp's neurosis and Frith's mystery bear an inscrutable intensity. 'The Shears' is a brief twisted chorale inspired in Broadway musicals, turning it into a weapon of parody against the social system and the moral values of America's bourgeoisie. The humorous parsimony in this track is very much in-your-face, serving as an extravagant preparation for 'Bachelor Needle', which is less weird but equally dissonant. 'Truth, Justice and the American Way' resumes the sense of in-your-face parody, this time aiming at the standardized patriotic chants: the impostated cheesiness is so obvious that it becomes another form of avant-garde experimentation. 'Equus' brings back the usual business of 5uu's, disturbing and dense although elaborated in a mood that happens to be more ethereal than usual - the delicate treatment of the predominant eerie layers is so well crafted that it doesn't kill the main motif's nuclear darkness. 'Traveler Waits for No One' once again retakes the straightforward, harsh colorfulness of Art Bears and the Dadaistic intensity of Cartoon, capturing them in a unique sonic frame. This playful mood is apt to close up the album with a defying enthusiasm - "Hunger's Teeth" is a revitalizing item of the current experimental prog that claims the heritage of chamber-rock and RIO.
Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars If Yes had an evil twin, it would sound like this album.

Bob Drake's vocals, and oftentimes the harmonies on this album sound frighteningly like Jon Anderson. And, strangely enough, that voice works well in this setting. That Drake's basslines roam about through the music, similar to Chris Squire's playing does nothing to dispell the comparison.

This album is a fantastic work of rock in opposition, one of my favorites, in fact (I don't know why I haven't gone searching for more of this band's albums). Listen from start to finish, and you will find yourself in a funhouse ride of wild riffs and noises. This is not for the faint of heart. But is is for me.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I like this more than the follow-up "Crisis In Clay". "Hunger's Teeth" is easier to digest, although make no mistake this is complex and innovative. Kumar, Kerman and Drake (sounds like a Lawyer firm doesn't it ?) make up the band here with several guests helping out including James Grigsby.

"Well...Not Chicken[&*!#]" is a fantastic opening number. It opens with keyboards as vocals and other sounds join in. Check out the vocals yelling in the background. Huge bass comes in briefly. Love how this sounds after 1 1/2 minutes. More chunky bass after 2 minutes with some steller drum work as well. I really like the dissonant guitar sounds that join in too. Killer track. "Roan" opens with what sounds like wind chimes while in the background it sounds like a volcano is going to erupt. Vocals come in then it kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes. Some excellent guitar here then it settles with vocals. "Mangate" is basically Thomas DiMuzio making electric and computer generated sounds for 3 minutes. Interesting. "Geronimo" features vocals and other sounds then it kicks in before a minute. Great sound. It settles again quickly as contrasts continue. It turns dark before 3 minutes. Powerful sound 4 1/2 minutes in. Love the bass and drums here.

"Glue" is dark with drums and bass out front. The vocals and the guitar are pretty twisted. "Opportunity Bangs" opens with a full sound with vocals. It picks up a minute in. Organ too. Killer sound here. It settles then picks back up. It ends in a haunting manner. "The Shears" is a funny tune about people who cut hair for a living. You can hear the door opening and the sound of scissors as vocals join in. "Bachelor Needle" has a strange intro then it kicks in. Vocals are processed with piano helping out. The tempo then picks up with normal vocals. "Truth, Justice, And The American Way" is dark with vocals, piano and a heavy pulsating sound. Great sound before 4 minutes then the vocals return. Amazing tune. So much going on late to end it. "Equus" features vocals, piano and eerie sounds early. It changes a minute in. Nice bass and drum work before 2 1/2 minutes. Organ follows then guitar. Female vocals after 4 minutes. "Traveler Waits For No One" is uptempo with female vocals. Some huge bass after 3 minutes.

A solid 4 star album maybe even 4.5 stars.

Review by Sagichim
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A good start for beginners!

This one is the only album i'm familiar with well from 5uu's , i think it's the first proper RIO album i heard by any band , and it is one of the easiest albums in this genre to get started with. still if you are not a beginner in avant /rio music and you are not familiar with it , you are missing on a lot. the first time i heard it i didn't know exactly what to make of this , it doesn't have that warm sound of 70's prog , but still doesn't have any cheesy sounds of modern prog . but after a couple of listens it was revealed and i understood how progy it really is , what a special , exciting new look on music it is. as weird and unconventional as it may sound sometimes , in the same time it is really a normal prog rock album. music is carefully done , a lot of layers are used and so many details are inside incorporating guitar distorted lines , strings , vocals and more. it's not in your face so it will take a few spins to fully notice . but it's not all the time like that , you can have simpler parts too. music is really varied and doesn't feel like going the same road all the time. synths are changing , guitars are used in a very good taste , some string instruments also used top that with a great deep bass. what a wonderful sound!!

Getting started quite weird , the first 3 minutes on the album takes you on a great ride letting you inside the bands journey , totally progressive music with great breaks and a change of sound which is pretty neat , check out that bass coming in at 2:08 and changing the music with that great driving sound , violins are used too , giving it a very weird symphonic touch , some "normal" like parts with vocals fused with disturbing atmosphere , this track has it all and pretty much single handedly defines what it's all about.

What i also like is the fact that the music is juggling between dissonant and more melodic parts in the same song and some times few times in the same song. drums by mr. kerman is really unconventional to say the least and he really flows with the music having some weird signature times and have a lot of room to develop even when songs are constantly changing and are not long at all. he is a real master and should be known widely.

Highlights for me are : well...not chicke[&*!#] , roan, opportunity bangs , but of course everything is great , i also like " the shears" which is a weird a cappella with someone taking a hair cut in the back...funny stuff.

I struggled my self with the rating between 4 or 5 stars , but after hearing it again and writing my review , i'll give it a 4.5 stars rounded up because of their success bringing the RIO genre to the front and making it accessible and so much fun.

In conclusion the music presented is totally progressive , innovative , rocks , weird , experimental and professional. you get the feeling that it is like a big puzzle with all kinds of different shape parts and different colours which can not be put together , but after you listen carefuly and see the band build that puzzle , you can watch the big picture and realize what it is. it's a picture you won't see every day and it's beautiful!!

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This band was originally formed in the mid-1980s by one Dave Kerman, a drummer/composer who is well known in RIO circles. 5uu's are an American answer to the European Rock-In-Opposition movement of the late 1970s. Apparently the band name came from some graffiti by some street gang in Los Angeles. While inspired by RIO, there is also a strong Zappa influence as well. Kerman wrote most of the music on this album, which appears to have a horse theme throughout. This is the bands third album, with an 8 year gap since the last album. Before this album members of 5uu's joined members of Motor Totemist Guild to form the group U-Totem.

The band here is basically a three-piece with others guesting on the album (such as Thinking Plague vocalist Suzanne Lewis and electronic experimenter Thomas Dimuzio). But it is new member Bob Drake, a founding member of Thinking Plague, that turns Hunger's Teeth into something else. He did a lot of engineering work before joining 5uu's and his input is essential to the way the album sounds. Did I mention he sometimes sings like Jon Anderson and sometimes plays bass (a Rickenbacker) like Chris Squire? Yes...he does. This album almost sounds like Yes from an alternate universe where up is down, black is white and sex prevents pregnancy. A great album for a avant-prog newbie to start with in this sub-genre.

The music here sounds big for just a trio (Sanjay Kumar being the third member), but I have seen YouTube clips from this era where the live renditions of these songs don't sound very different to the studio versions. The opener and standout track is "Well...Not Chickensh*t" which is accessible yet complex as hell. The lyrics focus on employer's apathy towards their employees. Love the bass tone after 2 minutes, very aggressive sounding. Later it gets more phased sounding followed by a great atonal guitar solo. This track is full of great melodies on a variety of instruments. The violin in particular sounds great here. "Roan" is short but sweet. The galloping horses and the horn-like sounds on synth and violin at the beginning sound majestic. Features a great melodic guitar solo. This track is so perfect it doesn't need to be any longer.

"Mangate" features only Thomas Dimuzio who you hear throughout the album. This is an electronic/tape manipulated piece. Although he is the only performer here, it sounds like a woman's voice from some contemporary pop/R&B song is being manipulated. Banjo and altered vocals open "Geronimo." Basically the music rarely stays in one place. Repeated notes on keyboard brings the music into more chamber rock territory. The banjo part comes back but now played on harpsichord(?) backed by some truly spacey synth sounds. "Glue" has an avant-boogie-rock feel with some really weird sounding manipulated keyboard sounds.

"Opportunity Bangs" is the most Yes sounding song on here but its still very avant-rock oriented. Even features a Wakeman-style organ solo(!). This track changes quite a bit, going through different parts. Features a great minimalistic and atonal guitar solo. "The Shears" is an a cappella barber shop quartet ditty. Some sound effects in the background. This reminds me of the "King Crimson Barber Shop" track recorded during the sessions for Crimson's Three Of A Perfect Pair album. "Truth, Justice, And The American Way" starts out moody and cinematic sounding followed by very avant-garde piano playing.

Later on you hear a vaguely hip-hop style drumbeat go back and forth between the left and right channels as Drake does the vocals in an almost cheerleader chant sort of way. Drake engineered an Ice Cube album before recording this...maybe some influence rubbed off on Bob? "Equus" features Suzanne on lead vocals. Her words are in sync with a keyboard. After some avant-rock goes into a steady groove while some sounds are heard over top of it. The vocal part is reprised at the end. "Traveler Waits For No One" also features Suzanne on lead vocals. The music here at first is the most upbeat on the album; almost sounds like '70s Yes mixed with '80s New Wave.

Then it goes into some darker sounding, Zappa inspired avant-rock. Gets more intense and rockin' as it goes along. The track just sort of ends abruptly. This is one of the greatest prog albums from the 1990s that you are likely to ever hear. The music has a great balance between dissonance and melody. The sound and production (and playing) is nearly flawless. Recommended to the Yes fan who feels a little adventurous or any avant-prog fan not already familiar with this group. Great '90s prog. I can't quite give this 'masterpiece' status but I will give it a 4.5 rounded down to a very strong 4 stars.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Well, I am not really a RIO fan, so just because I don't particularly like this album doesn't mean that other people might not like it. This band was recommended to me by a friend that had previously told me to check out Egg and Finch (two excellent bands by the way) so I thought I would give t ... (read more)

Report this review (#173944) | Posted by digdug | Saturday, June 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The music of 5UU'S would be a good introduction to the intriguing world of RIO. "Hunger's Teeth" is quite an accessible release, as it includes plenty of ear- catching melodic hooks and humorous moments. At the same time, it's rich of tricky meters and inherent dissonance that largely ... (read more)

Report this review (#73015) | Posted by Pafnutij | Saturday, March 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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