Label: Alcopop! Release date: 08/11/2010 Website: Myspace Buy: Amazon Here at The 405, we listed My First Tooth as one of our picks for 2010 back at the tail-end of last year and now the Alcopop! signings release their debut album ’Territories’. After the success of their previous singles – ‘Margaret Yen’ selling out, ‘Orchards’ being played on both Radio 1 and 6Music, let’s hope this long player carries on the trend. The Northampton five-piece have spent the year recording the album and touring relentlessly, playing a range of significant festivals and supporting bands such as The Antlers. Opening with a gentle 30-second reference back to ‘Margaret Yen’, this soon makes way for an assortment of violins, jangly sounds and some perfectly-placed “ohh-ohhs” on the sumptuous and aptly-named ‘Silent Spring’, a song that makes you think of bright days. Swifly followed by ‘Orchards’, and you can easily see why this was a single with its radio-friendly pop – complete with happy clapping and foot-stomping honesty. Although all the songs are very indie-folk, some of the more experimental leanings of frontman Ross K. Witt’s old band One Toy Soldier remain, lifting the MFT sound up another level. ‘The North Sea Part I’ sounds very traditional, in the vein of The Leisure Society, with all the instruments perfectly in unison and Joel Harries’ trumpet-playing skills really given a chance to shine, before some delicate communal chanting closes it in style. ‘Part II’ is just over a minute and a half of effects-laden sadness, whilst ‘Dubrovnik’ starts off by carrying on this tugging at the heartstrings, although the clearer presence of guitars offer a semblance of hope and the song soon evolves into a blast of optimistic positivity. ‘Sleet and Snow’ could be this winter’s soundtrack to cold nights and frosty mornings, with inspired metaphorical lyrics: “If you’re sleet, I’m snow” over some dreamlike Fanfarlo-style backing melodies. Witt sings: “We’re shovelling most of the year, so we’re stuck here”. There are far worse places. ‘Twilight Theatre’ is about an astonishing play being put on in a nearby place that Witt advises you to go and watch, before a darker and slightly sinister tone documenting how “she can’t bear to watch the replay” takes over. The perfectly weighted dual vocals throughout the album are stirring, although also a little haunting, and the melodic pop hooks mixed with a more traditional folk sound is especially pleasing, if a little rough around the edges but this adds to their grand and ambitious sound. My First Tooth could easily be discussing this album when, on ‘Twilight Theatre’, they sing: “It’s a hit, it’s a hit”. Photobucket