A review on the sophomore album (and possible malware program) Shutdown.exe from 3Teeth.
Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, these are names when you think of dark industrial rock. Last year a band came on the scene with some bite in the industrial sound called 3 Teeth. Their album Shutdown, or technically a program if you use the executable format, could be a new contender in one of rocks more ignored and rarely acknowledged sub-genres. In 2016 3 Teeth went on tour opening for Tool and were exposed to a lot of new people while getting the blessing of one of the biggest bands in the world. It was shortly after this tour with Tool and Primus that the band started writing and recording new material that would lead to this new album. And that material they wrote not only captured the industrial sounds reminiscent of the early 90’s, but with it came a detailed concept album about shutting down the consensus of what is considered “real”.
Shutdown in itself is a dark, cynical and at times comical look at our reality. While looking at the world in a negative way is not exactly new in the current rock scene, actually making a story about shutting down our connection to what makes our society and interactions the way they are is something that can actually be played with and thought about. Putting all THAT do heavy industrial rhythms and electronics adds to the stories tone. I feel like bands are not pushing bigger concepts like this, or at least a majority of them are not. The rock scene is filled with many bands that have a pessimistic look stating, “My life sucks” or “You suck” but rarely now do we hear a band talk about society and how we need to disassociate with current schemes that could have a negative impact.
There have been several songs already released from 3 Teeth’s sophomore album and each one of them is a fantastic example of both the style that 3 Teeth delivers and the overall sound of Shutdown. Along with their crazy but fantastic music videos it feels like 3 Teeth want to make a lasting impression with this album and the title track holds that industrial banner proudly.
The title track hits hard and has just about everything any industrial fan who is longing for the early 90’s style could want. The synthesized drums and guitar are hypnotic and Alexis Mincolla’s vocals add this hazy distorted sound with just the right amount of elevation into the chorus. It is industrial to the core and in my opinion, it works well as a feature track but it still is not the highlight of the album. Don’t get me wrong, I like “Shutdown” the song, but while you listen to the album in entirety you are pulled into the gravity of this album in many strong choruses and hooks that hit hard. Tracks like “Degrade”, “Voiceless” and “Atrophy” are instantly memorable and make you feel like you are listening to the soundtrack of a Matrix like film.
This style of music is supposed to create a feeling that you are in a dark setting and to a certain extent in a dystopian or future environment. 3Teeth nails that emotion in this album. You hear this depraved anger throughout Shutdown the album and you get the intended concept of breaking the chains of society and detaching from what our culture has become.
I love the powerful chorus in Degrade. The buildup in the rhythm to a shout of the title is intense and striking. The lyrics are brutal, talking about spitting on the young and burning alters. 3Teeth pulled no punches in getting dark and a bit shocking in their writing to go along with their music. “Atrophy”, “Tower of Disease”, “SlaveGod”, all of these insert imagery of an impending downfall and it works here. The album does take a couple tracks to get into, but once you are past the opening songs “Divine Weapon” and “Pit Of Fire”, you are fully sucked into the rhythm that this concept program creates. In 13 tracks at just under an hour, 3Teeth completely engulf the listener in a world created by the minds of some extremely creative individuals.
3Teeth may not be reinventing the wheel in terms of industrial rock, but the band definitely has a style that is refreshing and becoming unheard of in 2017. For lack of a better phrase, this is the exact kick in the teeth that rock and even metal can use in terms of edge; both regarding the electronic sound and overarching concept to connect songs. Overall, Shutdown.exe is the fierce and dark album that industrial fans have been wanting in 2017. If you are looking for something loud and rhythmic and are willing to be slapped in the face by some dark lyrics and concepts, then let 3Teeth grab you by the throat and drag you away from your current concept or reality.