Fever 333 has sprung up rather quickly from the ashes of letlive vocalist Jason Aalon Butler’s musical endeavours.
Created alongside former The Chariot guitarist Stephen (Stevis) Harrison and Aric Improta from Night Verses on the drums. The band first popped up in late 2017 before guerrilla-releasing an EP last year on RoadRunner Records. All of that has culminated in the release of this album.
Let me be clear from the outset: if you were never a fan of the melding of musical styles that was born of the late 90s nu-metal musical landscape, you may want to leave the room now. This band has been touted as a Rage Against the Machine for modern times, something that should be confronted right here. Yes, Jason Aalon Butler has a new found rap flow to go with his already wide ranging vocal technique, and there is some interesting guitar work for Stevis all held together by a very strong percussive battery driven by Aric. The difference is the punk rock lyrical bite on display. Maybe Fever 333 are a band for modern times because it is all hidden in metaphor; RATM always let you know what pissed them off by hitting you in the face with it, along with questionable public stunts to show how serious they took themselves. Fever 333 are yet to take that much of a stand. Now, care to see what the album is like?
Short intros really came to the fore with the late 90s musical climate and have never really left us, and here ‘…’ sets the scene for a musical riot ending in a loud crescendo before the musical doors are opened proper to ‘Burn It’, the first single from the album. ‘Burn It’ immediately displays the band’s ability to flit between genres seamlessly as it jars from a drum n bass intro to solid hardcore for a brief second before heading for straight up rapcore territory like RATM, downset or many numerous nu bands before them, all before going for a full hardcore stomp towards chorus. All this musical chaos wrapped up nicely in some political metaphors, the band is pissed off at the state of the world and they want you to know it.
‘Animal’ sounds very close to anything off the first two Linkin Park albums. Make of that what you will, not bad, but perhaps not the best this early in. The object of Strength in Numb333rs seem to be to drive modern listeners into change. This much sweetness will sure make people look into what is being discussed. ‘Prey For Me/3’ is the first in the band’s “C suite”, aiming to point the Fever 333 agenda of Community, Charity and Change. This is a powerful statement, breakdowns into a drum n bass mid section and then into a hardcore call and response style track, creating a disjointed feel. It’s clear they’re shooting to meld styles but here it possibly could have been separated into two songs.
‘The Innocent’ is one of the strongest and most politically forthright tracks on the album, tackling the issue of US police shootings. Not too much is hidden in metaphor here, this is the kind of political statement that Fever 333 has proclaimed they are pushing to an apathetic society with a hope to help affect change.
The last two tracks see the bite all but lost. ‘Am I Here?’ ia an open love letter to the vocalists wife, sugary sweet with strings and acoustic guitars and softly sung lyrics but it feels right out of place. ‘Coup D’Étalk’ is another close to the bone Linkin Park track with extra political spirit, but the album does finish on a hopeful note.
Strength in Numb333rs is a solid if at times jarring listen, with all of the political rhetoric not just there for the sake of it. These days when all form of art are consumed so differently, I am not sure how much actual political effect this will have, but hopefully it will at least make a few stand up and take a bit more notice of the world around them.
- Burn It
- Prey For Me/3
- One Of Us
- The Innocent
- Out Of Control/3
- Am I Here?
- Coup D’Étalk