Track by track: Necking

Necking’s debut album ‘Cut Your Teeth’ was borne out of a necessity to start again. Three of the Vancouver quarter went through break-ups during the making of ‘Cut Your Teeth,’ turning to the band not only to get out all that indignation but also as an essential support mechanism. “The band got me out of my house all the time, forcing me to go places even if I was being an asshole, and their patience and persistence is really the only thing that dragged me out of that really awful phase” explains drummer Melissa Kuipers. Plenty of bands say it but Necking truly are best friends.

Necking turn those stories of heartbreak outward on ‘Cut Your Teeth,’ inviting a new community of people to relate with their experiences, share their own stories and shout their fucking heads off. It’s the biggest counselling session of 2019. The soundscapes are as punk as they come, spiky guitars, crashing drums and thrumming bass lines anchored by Hannah Karren’s biting vocal.

Second single ‘Still Exist’ is an acknowledgement of their existence in the wake of these break-ups, the phone calls to their mums, the arrival at work on time proof of their being. That realisation of self, of leaving a relationship and discovering a place of your own is ‘Cut Your Teeth’s’ mission statement. They could have not announced their arrival any louder and on this evidence, we’ll be happy for Necking to make our ears ring for years to come.

As a band who admit to oversharing, it’s no surprise that their track-by-track guide comes with stories of jacking off and cybersex. This unflinching honestly is what makes ‘Cut Your Teeth’ our album of the week. Listen and read the track descriptions below.

Big Mouth

Big Mouth is the dollar store version of “Our Lips are Sealed” by the Go-Go’s covered by Hilary and Hailey Duff. It’s about having a mediocre time with someone and them leaving convinced you’re obsessed with them, being stuck in a conversation with someone who will not let you go, sharing secrets with a close friend and having them spread the word to anyone who’ll listen. The last verse about oversharing is definitely self-referential–I’m an oversharer by nature and even one beer makes me feel like it’s appropriate to share every detail of my life with whoever happens to be engaging with me at that moment. Consider it the shameover theme song.

No Playtime (Guitarist Nada Hek)

This song was written shortly after Red Gate Arts Society was forced to vacate its East Hastings location because Chip Wilson bought out the whole block to build condos. It’s about DIY spaces shutting down in Vancouver, the city landscape changing, and gentrification. That being said, we also have an understanding that as young people moving into these neighbourhoods and hanging out at these bars and venues, we play a role in gentrification too, so part of this song is negotiating the dichotomy between our privilege and desire to preserve genuine arts and culture spaces.

Drag Me Out (Drummer Mel Kuipers)

I was living in a 150 square foot studio apartment, in a shitty relationship, feeling totally isolated when I wrote this. Something about that apartment–being able to see the oven light from my bed, not having any doors to slam or hide behind when I was angry–really got to me. The space and the relationship and the weird phase I was in really infected my brain and I felt like a shitty person. I found myself snapping a lot at my friends and family, and felt like it was best to stay home, even though home was making me crazy. The band got me out of my house all the time, forcing me to go places even if I was being an asshole, and their patience and persistence is really the only thing that dragged me out of that really awful phase.

Boss (Singer Hannah Karren)

A song about hooking up with your boss because you want to, NOT because he’s going to give you a raise

Still Exist (Mel)

After leaving a shitty relationship (see: Rover, Drag Me Out), I felt really weird being alone. So, I adopted this as a neurotic catchphrase to repeat to myself whenever I felt like I was disappearing. The song is a reminder that even when all you have the strength to do is really regular stuff, like calling your mom or making it to work on time, you’re still a real person, and you still exist on your own.

Rover (Mel)

I had plans to meet up with my then-boyfriend late at night. My phone died, so I showed up at his house unannounced. I walked in on him jacking off (normal, not weird!) but he was so angry, started yelling, then kicked me out of his house at 3am. Despite this totally irrational blow out, I still went back to his house the next day to apologize (???). This was a really regular thing in this relationship–apologizing all the time for having my feelings hurt, going back to this person who treated me like a nuisance. I felt like a dog. 

Go Getter (Mel)

These are the rules. Say it again. Then say it over and over again. Do it. Rinse, repeat. You’ll be fine.

Spare Me (Bassist Sonya R)

Written right before spending hundreds of dollars at IKEA, “Spare Me” is about being too broke to party but not too broke to spend hundreds of dollars at IKEA. This ones about choosing adulthood but not wanting to let go of the slacker posturing you’ve worked so hard to perfect.

Habbo Hotel

We were all bored and hanging out in our own houses one night then the group chat  blew up:

Nada: Guys I have the sudden urge to sign up for habbo hotel

Melissa: Some of my most meaningful relationships existed with strangers on Habbo hotel

10 mins later…

Hannah: hey ya’ll I got banned. tried to have a threesome with someone

Nada and Mel spent a lot of time on Habbo Hotel when they were teens, chatting with strangers and lying when people asked, “A/S/L?” (always 18/F/Texas). We were having cyber sex but didn’t really know what was going on, didn’t really feel anything except guilt when we sat in church on Sunday anxiously waiting to get home and log back on. In the end, I think we all have the urge to have a new name, new face, new identity–this was our way of exploring that… in a virtual hotel.

Cut Your Teeth is out now on Mint Records

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