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Rap and metal has always been a controversial mix, but when we throw trap into the pot, as is the case with US fire-spitting supergroup The Fever 333’s debut EP Made an America, we have an untapped sound that is exciting, overwhelming and polarising.
Add into this already explosive cocktail the talents of former Letlive vocalist Jason Aalon Butler, and the heavy-hitting, firecracker 2 and 4 of Night Verses skinman and YouTube sensation Aric Improta and not only does this new band’s maiden effort contain creative balls, but also the experience to bring the concepts to life in a way that leaves creative ego’s at the door.
Truth be told, there are a plethora of contemporary acts continuing to fly the flag for a mixture of electronica and heavy music, with Enter Shikari, Emmure and homegrown heroes Ocean Grove all adding their own brushes to the canvas that Nu Metal started 15 years ago.
What The Fever 333 add to this picture from bar one of the EP-titled opening track is a mixture of pop sensibilities and furious and politically charged energy. “No stars dead bodies on the boulevard Cop cars, true killers, and they still at large Where we land is where we fall (Made An America)’ snaps Butler, using the ferocious energy of trap and slamdown hardcore to propel the message forward with confronting anguish. Things are turned to 100 from the get-go here, with the band not holding back any experimental punches.
Made An America bleeds a youthful energy that’s infectious as it is addictive.
In fact, extreme’s is the order of the day across the entirety of Made An America, with every idea extrapolated to its fullest extent. Alabama MC Yelawolf lends his peppery rhymes to (The First Stone) Changes, which is upheld by a pleasantly stripped back trap break, making up for the unnecessarily anthemic chorus. Elsewhere, Hunting Season and POV both showcase Improta’s talent for heavy grooves in addition to furious punk beats, with hi-hat flourishes, electronic beats and bass drops weaving between down-tuned chugs and shrieked slogans. If Rage Against The Machine had expanded to drum pads, this would no doubt be the result, with the Butler channelling the anguish of Zach de la Rocha, peppering with the occasional auto-tune to break up the fury (Soul’d Me Out).
What makes The Fever 333’s first outing such an intriguing listen, more than anything, is the lack of the supergroup ‘staleness’ that infected previous outings by some of metal’s biggest names (Chickenfoot & Axewound to name a few). Although a broad church of sounds and ideas, Made an America gives the sense of wanting to stick around for awhile, and they don’t fear pissing a few purists off in the process.
Throwing together influences picked up for multiple decades of touring, playing on festivals and writing with some of the biggest names of the industry, Made an America bleeds a youthful energy that’s infectious as it is addictive. The darkness of deep house, hardcore and trap combine across the entire EP to produce one of the more explosive listens of the month, no doubt set to explode in a live setting.
STANDOUT TRACKS: (The First Stone) Changes, Hunting Season, POV
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Emmure