Industrial music is a tricky art to master. It needs a careful balance of nihilism, Punk and distorted instruments that are meant to have you grooving to its seedy underbelly of slow tempo bass guitar, but with enough hyperactive electricity that will have beating your chest tribally in the mosh pit. I can happily say that while not their first rodeo, the L.A. based 3Teeth has achieved this sound and I was there to witness this achievement one of their shows, while they opened up for Ministry recently (6th July 2019).
What I saw was decadent, trashy and so filthy, you would be forgiven for needing a shower afterwards. It was glorious to witness and had your humble narrator (HUMBLE? HAHAHAHA! – Amused Editor) excited for the future of the permanent underground subculture, that involves a lot of leather (or plastic for the vegetarian/vegans among us). However, this is an album review, so let’s us take this journey with 3Teeth and see exactly why they deserve the swell of praise they are gaining for their third studio effort ‘Metawar‘.
The album is 45 minute relentless affair of current social commentary and their first track, the minute long ‘Hyperstition‘ alone shows that. Treating you to audio cuts of news stories and various other audio tricks that for a grizzled industrial veteran is tried and tested method that sets the pace of the rest of the album very well. Immediately we are kicked in the proverbial stomach with the snap guitar and drum work of ‘Affluenza‘ a song that could be identified as a scathing criticism of capitalism with singer Alexis Mincolla welcoming us to “an orgy of corporate incest”
Mincolla’s vocals alone are a treat to listen to during this album. Portraying an image of what would happen if Freddie Mercury’s moustache had a love child with a mullet; his overall vocal range through songs such as ‘American Landfill‘ or ‘Blackout‘ take you on a clear journey of what exactly is going through his head. Often showing flairs of Al Jourgensen and Marilyn Manson it is clear he has catered his vocal style from the best the genre has to offer. Add the crashing, creeping guitars of Chase Brawner and Xavier Swafford’s enigmatic synth work and 3Teeth have one hell of a potent brew for all to sample.
One such song that has that powerful mix down to a formula is their single ‘President X‘: a fantastic blend of having the current American administration in its sights, the simplistic down tuned nature of Nu-Metal, which in turn allows the synth work more breathing room to organise some well composed layers that will have anyone get down and dirty to the “new world dance“.
Usually by the half way point of any album is where the cracks start to appear. Even bands that have been around for up to twenty years always seem to fall into this honey trap where the first five to six tracks are nothing short of breathtaking, then the last batch of tracks seem to take a nose dive and are considered to appear like an afterthought. However, that’s thankfully not so much the case with ‘Metawar’.
While ‘Altaer‘ does slow things down the tempo to a crawl, it all picks up again during ‘Time Slaves‘, another cynical affair of the ideology that this unforgivable modern world wants us to work until our mental health is in jeopardy, or worse, dead. The only other way I can describe this album is that, everything wrong with modern western life is on the chopping block and 3Teeth are the executioners. ‘Sell Your Face 2.0‘ is a blunt force that takes a stab on the ridiculous beauty standards we are forced to adhere too, just in the hopes of achieving a drink at the bar from our desired sexual partners – and trust me folks, if you have the face of a viking with the mumps like I do, that alone is almost impossible.
But wait kids, there’s more! The album closes with ‘Pumped Up Kicks‘, a cover song. In my opinion, the best cover songs are taken from the original artist and used to the advantage of the band that is covering the song. It’s why everyone close to me is still suffering with Miley Cyrus‘ ‘Ashley-O‘ persona here in the InKey Dungeon. 3Teeth turned Foster The People’s background supermarket noise drivel, into venomous commentary on the tragic high school shootings that effect the USA on a constant basis and it works way more in favour for them.
Put simply, despite a couple of slip ups here and there, there is nothing in ‘Metawar’ that I would consider to be a total dud. It’s forty-five minutes of explosive Industrial music done right, with the force of word of mouth behind them (and a good marketing team would help also), the hard work they have put into this studio effort is so much so, that they do deserve to climb higher up the ranks of modern alternative music, by hook or by crook. It may not be accessible to everyone, but good Industrial music shouldn’t be that way. In a world where it is getting increasingly hard to stay optimistic, we can only thank bands like 3Teeth for confirming what we’re all thinking.
Our planet is well and cruelly f****d.