The message behind Fever 333’s debut album is loud and clear. The Inglewood band consisting of Jason Butler (formerly of Letlive) Stevis Harrison (formerly of The Chariot), and Aric Improta (of Night Verses) have been turning heads since their formation in mid 2017. With a Grammy nominated EP (Made in America) and a world tour alongside monstrous rock groups Bring Me the Horizon and Thrice, 333 rode a wave of momentum into the release of Strength in Numb333rs.
From top to bottom the record is powerful stance on the issue of American inequality and it’s resulting consequences like poverty, violence and police brutality. The trio present these 10 tracks not as a record, but as a conceptual call to arms to those disenfranchised by a flawed society.
Instrumentally it’s a genre transcending offering with influences ranging from punk and hardcore to hip-hop. Sure most tracks follow a similar heavy fast paced formula but a vast array of catchy riffs, interludes and melodic choruses keep the album from feeling stale or redundant.
Vocally Jason Butler puts forth his revolutionary ideals with a seething passion comparable to Zack De La Rocha. True to form, Butler’s vocal work is a powerful blend of screams, cleans and rap style spoken word. Long time fans of 333’s frontman will notice Strength in Numb333rsis dripping with influence from his time in Letlive and sounds like matured offering from the now defunct group.
While weaving a running narrative throughout this album, 333 did well to present their message uniquely in each song. For proof of this just see the day and night dichotomy between tracks like the viscerally emotional “One of Us” and the albums token ballad “Am I here?”.
The standout comes via Numb333rs sixth song”Inglewood/3″, which shows off the range that this talented trio are working with. With so many songs on this record serving as a call to arms, this feels more like an autobiographical description to explain what drives the records theme. One of a pair of 7 minute songs, the lengthy track commands and contains attention by slowly building it’s pace to a bold crescendo. Lyrically, Inglewood/3 is about Butler’s childhood in the southern LA city. It’s verses recount experiences of poverty, violence and racism while it’s chorus imploring listeners to extend a hand towards those still struggling.
The only true criticism this album could receive is it’s tendency to skirt the line of familiarity between bands like Lincoln Park and Rage Against the Machine. Making these comparisons however puts them in very highly regarded company with two of rock’s absolute titans.
Listen below and decide for yourselves if we have a very early contender for album of the year.
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