While in their Broadview studio working on Four Legs Are Better Than Two, the duo’s upcoming 2022 release, Charlie Bean (Tooth) and Gorgeous George (Claw) took the time to compile a selection of live and studio cuts. Slay Bells features fan favorites from chill groove “Wasted” (feat. Catnip) to iconic dance club mix “Hit It!” and emo classic “Luv My Bruv.”
“Just seemed like the right time, man, y’know?” said Claw. “Yeah, temp tired of killing it,” Tooth agreed. “Time to share the love!”
Over a pickup game of pawball, the brothers talked about some of the tracks. (What follows is lightly edited for clarity.)
First, tell your fans about that cover!
- Charlie: Wow, well, yeah. We’re so tired of slick overproduction, y’know? So we thought it would be pretty cool to just use a phone app with stickers.
- George: Except I couldn’t stand it and had to add some T&C touches like the crashed sleigh. But then Charlie—
- Charlie: Ha ha! Yeah, I told him he had to make the dead reindeer look really, really fake to go with the whole handmade aesthetic, y’know?
So tell me about the music.
- George: Well, first we have a cut from the Zoned Out tour. We chose “Wasted,” because it represents—
- Charlie: Because Catnip was so cool that day in the studio, really mellowed us out when we were torqued about that fucking—
- George: We weren’t going to talk about that.
- Charlie: Right, right. Anyhow, we just love Catnip, man, just love Catnip. If anyone out there listening has to chance to work with Catnip in the studio, just do it.
“Love is the Drug” is from the Zoned Out tour, too, yes?
- Charlie: Yeah, but I’ll let George take this one.
- George: This one’s from the heart. I follow the teachings of Zen Master Mouse Lover, and his reading of my aura showed I had a deep-seated need to really, I mean really, truly communicate with my listeners. So what better—
- Charlie: Yeah, he just likes that gooshy emo stuff. Next question.
Charlie, some might say “Hold My Paw and Never Let Go” is pretty emo.
- Charlie: Ha ha! No. Not even close. It’s about holding the prey tight then ripping its guts out with your back claws.
- George: That’s not what you said when you first brought me the lyrics, tears dripping off your whiskers.
- Charlie: You take that back!
Hey, hey. Hey now, no need to fluff up. I think we can both agree that “Southpaw!” is anything but emo!
- Charlie: When you’re right, you’re right.
- George: We’d been experimenting with blending martial arts and philosophical styles. We’re both pretty comfortable with that blend of Zoomies and parkour that’s a full-body stimulant, but I was curious about the discipline of the Queensbury Rules which—
- Charlie: Ha ha. Except you’re always calling it Queensberry, until I said, nope, it’s bury, as in bury your opponent.
And of course “Hit It!” Is T&C’s club classic.
- George: It is.
- Charlie: Love that track.
I think we can talk about the next two together. “Your Heart Is a Muscle…” and “I Feel Your Pain…”
- George: They’re both from our very first album. They’re kind of mirror images of the same sentiment. Feeling comes from the heart. And while it’s good to acknowledge the good feelings it’s also important to—
- Charlie: The heart just fucking tastes good, especially when it’s beating frantically with fear when you rip—
Some of our listeners might be a bit young for the hardcore stuff. Let’s stay focused on the sounds, okay? George, do you want to tell us about “Touching Tails, Unmeeting Wishes”?
- George: This is one is close to my heart.
- Charlie: Your tasty, beating—
- George: —because, well, you know Charlie and I are close. Close as brothers can be. We went through the same hard times, the same joys, have fought some of the same fights, but still, we see the world differently. We want different things from it.
- Charlie: Whatever.
Charlie, tell us about “If Only”
- Charlie: George was sad. He’d lost his pawball under the couch.
- George: It brought up all kinds of losses for me, and questions about the nature of our choices.
“If Only” has a particular sonic pendulum swing, a slicing rhythm I’ve been catching more and more in your newer work. I hear that in “Nature Boyz,” too.
- George: Whatever our differences, my brother and I are, at heart, creatures of the body, especially the body in nature. I love the sound of the trees. If you listen, it has this rocking, melodic rhythm—
- Charlie: But then the shrieking squirrels really piss me off because they frighten the birds away. So those slicing inputs are the squirrels, and what I’d do to them if— Yeah, yeah. Young listeners. Okay. Nature’s nice. Trees are nice. Birds are very very nice.
The album ends with two contemplative tracks which seems fitting for the end of this year.
- George: First there’s “A Moment For RBG,” a tribute to a woman who, though she might only have two legs, I regard as an honorary feline. She’s a role model for me.
- Charlie: Bet those lace collars would have made awesome climbing scaffolds.
- George: And of course “Luv My Bruv” is the song of my heart. I love my little brother. I love you Charlie and I’ll always look out for you.
- Charlie: And when your brain weighs you down, I’ll carry you. Luv you bruv.
Thanks to Tooth & Claw for taking time from their busy schedule. When Four Legs Are Better Than One drops in spring, they’ll be touring cat rescue centres in a city near you. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peek at the new album cover.