The Teacher Haters / Unknown Artists EP $15.00
On Side A, smile your way through two songs by The Teacher Haters — in fact, we challenge you to get through these tracks without smiling. Even the name of the band invokes a chuckle as it suggests what these guys are about — and that’s the P-A-R-T-Y. Straight out of the 60s comes a group that could have been played with Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs back in the day. These whimsical works are deceptively deep as they take us to a time when garage punk fused with R&B.
Big Pig Alley (click to listen) is uncomplicated, and that’s what makes it great — it sounds like a bunch of college guys having a good time, writing lyrics on the spot: “If you’re lookin’ for romance, take a train, take a plane...or a raft to France.” The guys have something other than romance on their minds as they chug along on acoustic guitar and trash can drums (and possibly other things). What really makes the track, though, is the witchy background voice — the performance is loose enough, while the witch is doing his own thing entirely.
The witch returns on the second track on Side 1 in the up-tempo, dance-ready Cut Loose (click to listen). No obscure artistry here — these guys tell you exactly what the song is for in the title. In fact, just in case you missed it, they state their thesis in the opening lines: “I wanna shake all night, I wanna do it right, I wanna dance, dance, dance with you…” All of their collegiate effort is put toward getting you to move your hips in this groovy, rockabilly-flavored mix.
Let's talk about Side B...
We Got A Thing (sound clip above) is up first — a crossover soul dancer that invites you to sing along with an infectious, call-and-response chorus. It pairs nicely with The Teacher Haters as fun, simple party music from the 60s — though this time from a female perspective.
Things go deeper with Guys Today (sound clip above). As the name suggests, the content is about the enduring tension between the sexes and the heartbreak it can lead to. It’s a deep soul beat ballad in the vein of Betty Wright or Helene Smith. A grand opening is followed by a clear, crisp female vocal that brings the singer’s lament into focus. The band is tight, and it all comes together to portray a woman who has made up her mind and is offering a warning about guys today: I know you love your man, but I know they will hurt you in every way they can.
At first glance, these artists seem to share only a few things in common — party-themed music conceived in the 60s with an R&B flavor. But between sides A and B, it feels like these groups are talking to each other — perhaps different perspectives of the same party. Perhaps the party itself and then the fallout. The result is a balanced EP release that feels whole and satisfying. We hope you feel the same as we proudly present these found recordings as an exclusive 12” on 180 gram vinyl. Please enjoy.