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Breaking Artist: The Teeth Fight Their Way to Indie-Rock Success

June 20, 2007 12:50 PM ET

Who Philadelphia quartet whose new album, You're My Lover Now, seems to channel the Kinks, the Who, and some burnout folkie we've never heard of -- all Brit-poppy harmonies, scrappy energy and weirdly endearing touches. The Teeth are fronted by twin brothers Peter and Aaron MoDavis, who formed The Teeth with two buddies after moving to Philly in 2001. "We were called the Pants," Aaron says. "We just wanted a name that didn't try to sound deep." The Teeth have persevered through shitty shows and some not-so-great jobs, including a pizza and cheesesteak joint where three members still work. Nowadays, though, things are looking up for The Teeth: Lover has gotten strong reviews, and The Teeth recently toured with their buddies Dr. Dog. "It's going well," Aaron says. "People are coming to shows all over the country, and we're makin' cash -- a little at least."

Brotherly Love As Lover shows, The Teeth are meticulous about crafting harmonies, melodies, chord changes and such. But sometimes their attention to detail leads to intra-band scrapes -- both onstage and off. "I gave Aaron shit about this one chord change," Peter Modavis says. "He flipped over a couch and I attacked him. We have a video where you can see his black eye."

Hear It Now Bite down hard on "The Ball of the Dead Rat," a hot track from You're My Lover Now.

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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