Teeth, Toes And Other Trinkets is a collection of eleven unreleased, obscure, hard-to-find and alternate versions from the Manes archives and for someone who isn’t necessarily familiar with the band, it’s a good starting point because it’s a good mix of tracks and helps to give an overall insight into what this band is like.
Although Blanket Of Ashes perhaps isn’t the best opening to the album as the introduction doesn’t really grip you and the song as a whole isn’t massively engaging, things properly get underway with the third track Ease Yourself Back (Into Consciousness). It’s a very light and sparse song accompanied by some absolutely stunning vocals which are chock-full of emotion and really help the song to resonate. It’s memorable in so many ways and I can guarantee that the little repeating riff in your mind will get stuck in your head before you realise it!
Another fantastic track is One More Room and the way it opens is great, slowly fading in until the song properly gets going. The instrumentation is nice and full, with a warm sound and the way it just seems to flow is magnificent; it’s song-writing at its best and a particularly good element is how the vocals are used as another instrument rather than taking the lead.
Unfortunately, there are a few tracks that are more difficult to get into, like Ende (although I did put that one more down to being a live track rather than a studio one) and penultimate song Diving With Your Hands Bound (Nearly Flying) is another. It’s just a struggle to listen to because it’s near-enough the same thing for about nine and a half minutes and it becomes rather grating after the first few minutes of it.
However the album ends on a humongous high with an 8-bit (seriously!) track rounding it all up. Deeprooted is just perfect; it sounds like it’s been ripped directly from an old NES game and it’s on a whole other level of awesome.
Teeth, Toes And Other Trinkets is an all-round great collection of songs and if this is what we’re getting before the band truly ‘comes back to life’, I for one can’t wait to see what’s next.