Dentata @ Royal Phoenix, Montreal, 24.09.11
By Laura Crapo
Dan Burke is a Toronto show promoter and I trust his taste in music, so I was happy to hear my friend Adam Brown was on his bill at a Montreal show. I came a bit early and was immediately smitten with the band on stage, Dentata. It was everything I like about The Runaways. Two young women, one in a black rubber suit and one in a studded bra ensemble, and a drummer. The lead singer had a better figure than most superheroines and had the ‘tude to back it up. It was a pure presentation of a genre. It was wonderful. It was like they kept doing it right and then right again. When artists lovingly pay tribute to a genre by being so good, it brings so much joy. When I complemented the blonde on the set, she was very sweet and charmingly tough, and I asked her what was the band’s name she said “Dentata”. Then she drew an invisible line over the metal teeth on her leather bra and pointed out “Dentata”. She was right to drive it home.
I did a bit of searching on them a couple days afterwards to learn more. It seemed that they were part of a culture … let’s say a dark kind of scary culture, like smearing fake blood all over their face at their show, letting it pour out of their mouths, kind of rowdy people with netherworld symbolism in the audience. While I think that’s fine to use fake blood at a show, I just worry in the long run about the culture part, that their audience might dictate the art instead of the other way around. I guess I’m saying I hope Dentata keep us well under their high heel, but I hope they don’t feel like they have to belong to a sub-culture of a certain kind of symbolism and worldview. Maybe that’s the mom in me talking, but I think it’s the artist too. To be free is to be able to express whatever it is you want to say. Just because a scary sub-culture nurtured them doesn’t mean they can’t make their own Smile album. I hope they get well-known so that more people can enjoy their cool show. They certainly have more talent and beauty than the rock stars dominant on tv right now. They have what it takes, for sure.
I have no doubt Dentata can dominate any music or performance. And they are total foxes, and they know it – which makes it even sweeter. And it’s not every day I see something that reminds me of the late 70s, in the best way.
Photography: Dentata x Norman Wong