ALBUM REVIEW: FEVER 333 STRENGTH IN NUMB333RS
"An album set to spark a new generation of rage."
Band: Fever 333
Album: Strength In Numb333rs
Genre: Punk, Rock, Rapcore, HipHop
It’s a phrase inescapable in the realm of politically charged music: “the soundtrack to the revolution”. It’s defined bands spanning Rage Against The Machine through Green Day, Public Enemy through Against Me! and so on. But what separates the debut Fever 333 LP from its peers is the clear intrepidity to be more than just that soundtrack to the revolution. Armed with an arsenal of ripping guitars, pounding bass and gnashing drums (both in the form of tooth-rattling snare abuse and dancefloor-ready trap beats), Jason Aalon Butler and co. aim to ignite the revolution from the ground up. Sinking themselves deep into the throes of protest with commentary that is as sharp to the ears as it is necessary to the current Western sociopolitical climate.
For most, the stark and unfiltered rhetoric that Butler espouses will polarise: he spits bluntly on topics of police brutality and class warfare in such a way that it causes the listener to squirm in their seat (a choice example coming in ‘Inglewood’, where Butler describes the brutal grittiness of growing up in the hood), but that’s his aim. Butler wants you to feel uncomfortable to the point where it clicks why the revolution needs a soundtrack to begin with – to really understand why such outrage is justified, and to go above mere empathy with the response it elicits. He sings from a place of experience, his genuine distress palpable when he spouts an especially grief-stricken quip.
On a sonic level, Strength In Numb333rs shines with dense, layered production that favours acoustic drums and gnashing electric guitars. It elevates them with a spate of warbling synths and electronic flourishes. It’s an album that beggars repeat listens. You’ll hear new layers and effects on tracks ten playthroughs in, as if the songs are constantly evolving with each new spin. And the clash of genres – mosh-ready hardcore on a base of low-fi hip-hop and soulful R’n’B – never gets less interesting. It can be messy at times, but once you’ve settled into the flow of this unforgiving rollercoaster of sound, the juxtaposition of crisp, saccharine pop choruses against rattling breakdowns and barbed-wire rap makes for a beautiful symphony.
At its core, the album is built for the live shows (which Fever 333 brand adamantly as ‘demonstrations’). There are huge, stadium-worthy singalong moments with fist-in-the-air hooks that demand you ravage your throats in chanting and massive mosh rally-cries designed to instil fear in the hearts of even the toughest of barrier guards. Because if there’s one way to convert a sea of politically clueless, happy-go-lucky teens into fierce protesters ready to fight for their cause, it’s in the sweaty, life-altering chaos of the pit.
The revolution is changing. Modern problems require modern solutions, and Fever 333 know that better than anyone. They’ve crafted an album that not only offers those solutions, but does so in a way that entices listeners to get involved in putting those into motion.
An album set to spark a new generation of rage.
Surely, an album that’ll go down in history amongst it.
Written by Matt Doria – A writer who’s all about the three P’s: pizza, punk, and p…dogs.