Standing on the precipice of success, 3Teeth are looking down on an incredible past few years. The Los Angeles based industrial rock band hit the scene hard with their self-titled debut album in 2014. Critics raved about the album, and the band rode its success, touring on and off until 2016. By then, the band was ready to get back into the studio to record their next album, but their plans got derailed by Adam Jones, the guitarist for Tool, who handpicked 3teeth to join Tool on their 2016 North American tour.
Fans immediately took to 3teeth’s ominous sound and intense imagery, and 3teeth skyrocketed to public fame, too. Now, fans are eagerly awaiting <shutdown.exe>, the band’s second studio album, which promises to be just as memorable as their self-titled. While the band is often compared to Nine Inch Nails, their new album sounds like it came straight from an old Marilyn Manson album (think “Beautiful People” era but with more vocal distortion).
While the overall sound of the album might come across a little dated, the visual impact is anything but. The music videos flirt with a more experimental style, using visual distortions and editing to create a surreal experience that complements the sound perfectly. The videos also have deeply political message that doesn’t really work with the lyrics.
For instance, the “Shutdown” and “Atrophy” videos both rely heavily on anti-establishment tropes, the former with an anarchist terrorist group causing chaos and the latter with what appears to be the same groups facing off with police officers in riot gear. However, there’s little in the lyrics for “Atrophy” that would point to this kind of political upset. Although I appreciate their attempt to appeal to a more political subject matter, I think it would’ve been more successful if the music video played more off the idea of chaos, which is a recurring theme on the album, rather than using the riot control, which is more associated with modern peaceful protests than the anarcho-terrorist vibes from the music videos.
All that being said, the album opens phenomenally. Between the chanting and the heavy guitar reverb, “Divine Weapon” was a killer opening track, and really set the whole album on a high pedestal. The sound is all very heavy after that, broken up only by the mixing, which is really the best part of the album. Aside from the brief breaks between songs from intro samples, it feels like a wall of noise.
Of course, some people are into noise rock. If so, I would definitely recommend <shutdown.exe>. Even if you’re not normally into hard or industrial rock, I really think everyone should give the album a shot just for the mixing, which is still incredible and, honestly, worth looking past the album’s other flaws for.
Top Track: “Tower of Disease”
Verdict: While the album does sound amazing, it’s not exactly pushing any boundaries musically. An old instrumental style and vocal distortion take away from Alexis Mincolla’s vocals. The real power comes from the mixing, which is more of a credit to Sean Beavan, but I do give the band kudos for self-producing the album. Plus, 3teeth has a strong message and clear stage presence, putting on kick ass shows. Their music videos are strong, and I’m sure, as the band continues to grow, they’ll grow into their sound. They definitely have more to offer the industrial rock scene.