The most difficult thing to get right about industrial music is the tone. Getting the very sleek, metallic sound is usually fairly straightforward, but there’s a darkness that needs to go along with it for it to really hit. That seems to be the thought going through the minds of LA’s 3Teeth, with second album ‘shutdown.exe’ being tailored to hit all necessary marks perfectly.
For a start, there’s not a single ray of light that shines through this album. Each track is forged from crushing electronic weight and blocky, lockstep grooves with all manner of inhuman filters dripped over Alexis Mincolla’s vocals. It’s an uncompromising listen, with the shockwaves of the militant stomp of tracks like ‘Pit Of Fire’ and ‘Shutdown’ being unavoidable, while ‘Tabula Umbra’ and ‘SlaveGod’ both grind away with more abrasiveness than most metal bands.
If there’s a complaint to make, it’s that 3Teeth don’t work with a great deal of settings, and considering that this isn’t a slight listen by any means, ideas do begin to repeat. But even so, there’s something so fitting about that, the mechanical heft being revisited and recycled into new forms. And besides, a track like ‘B.O.A’ near the album’s back end may bear more than a few familiarities, but the sheer force in which 3Teeth implement their assault with ensures that it’s never boring.
That’s probably where 3Teeth shine the most. Innovation might be a stretch, but ‘shutdown.exe’ knows how to capture and hold the attention, no matter how much of a limited skill set is on show here. Even then though, that’s being unfair to a damn fine album, one whose uncompromising nature is without question its greatest strength.
‘shutdown.exe’ by 3Teeth is released on 19th May on OMF Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)