Los Angeles rivethead’s 3Teeth return with the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut album with 13 tracks of industrial mayhem sure to make even the darkest among us giddy with joy. Drawing on the familiar ingredients that once made industrial music a subversive and compelling genre some 25-years-ago, 3Teeth combines programmed drums, samples, keyboards, and electric guitars with a healthy dose of political venom spewed from the distorted vocals of frontman Alexis Mincolla.
What sets shutdown.exe apart from other recent industrial offerings is the atmospheric soundscapes that elevate the music from a just collection of songs into a full blown album experience. Fittingly, this is a concept record aimed at shutting down the generally agreed upon ideas of what is real and what isn’t, or as the press release puts it, “consensus reality tunnels.” It’s an ambitious album, to say the least.
The majority of songs clock in between three or four minutes, but it’s what the band does within that time that makes the shutdown.exe compelling. Never conforming to verse-chorus-verse song patterns and frequently taking unexpected routes between points A and B, the band sounds inspired and confident. Tracks like “Pit of Fire,” “Atrophy,” and “Tower of Disease” are behemoths that at one moment soar and the next plummet violently into an abyss of technology. Other songs show the band experimenting beyond the generic trappings of “industrial.” “Tabula Umbra,” “Voiceless,” and “Insubstantia” are atypical, noisy affairs that may provoke listeners to dance versus headbang. Indeed, there is a fair amount of sexiness that balances the generally angst-riddled album.
There are a few moments where the vocals are a bit buried in the mix, or at least beg for further clarity in one form or another. But, this almost makes for a more interesting album. Headphones are by no means a requirement for the listening experience, but when applied more nuance and depth is discovered within the recording. That’s to say, there’s a lot going on here. Where many of their peers’ good efforts often result in puddle-deep and vapid dribble, 3Teeth offer something greater, something more cinematic. By the time you make it to the album closer “Away From Me,” you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Certainly, there’s good reason why the band is frequently compared to their industrial predecessors (Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and Skinny Puppy), because they sound a lot like those bands. 3Teeth doesn’t reinvent industrial music, but they certainly breathe a breath of fresh air into the once thriving genre. 3Teeth’s shutdown.exe is the resuscitation of what once made industrial music great.
shutdown.exe Track Listing:
01. Divine Weapon
02. Pit of Fire
04. Oblivion Coil
07. Tower of Disease
08. Tabula Umbra
13. Away From Me
Run Time: 47:00
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Check out the video for the song “Shutdown”