3TEETH – EndEx
Release Date: 22/09/2023
Running Time: 47:00
Review by Rory Bentley
We are now officially in spooky season as far as I’m concerned. Halloween is merely weeks away, shit’s getting dark and grey, and in the Bentley household we’ve already started binging Horror Movies. All that’s required now is a suitably gnarly soundtrack, so I don’t play The Monster Mash to death. Luckily Industrial greb mavericks 3TEETH are back with their first album in four years just in time for everyone to dust off their leather trench coat/platform boots/gimp mask and listen to the audio equivalent of a sticky Goth club floor at 2am.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall 3TEETH being as monstrously heavy as they are on “EndEx”. My overall recollection of them was a super fun throwback band for people that don’t think there’s enough Skinny Puppy albums in the world yet. They did a thing that nobody’s really doing any more which allowed them to stand out despite having a sound that bordered on pastiche. Now while it’s true that the band still pull from the Industrial smorgasbord laid out by NIN, Ministry and friends, there is also a heavy vibe of Code Orange’s “Underneath”. I’m not sure if this was a direct influence or pure coincidence, but those of you with the misfortune to know me will be aware that I think Code Orange are probably the best band in the world and “Underneath” is a 12/10 record. The comparison first rears its head on ‘Acme Death Machine’, which employs a layered soundscape to put the listener in the centre of a futuristic horror movie. Spooky piano licks weave in and out of the chorus and there are more than a few jump scares throughout the song. Add to that the scintillating collision of cold, rusted Industrial beats with earthy, painfully human Hardcore riffs and you’ve got something that wouldn’t be out of place on the Pennsylvania innovator’s 2020 magnum opus.
If all this talk of complex layers and textures has got you worried that there’ll be a shortage of spooky bangers, allow me to reassure you, 3TEETH deliver the goods big style. ‘Slum Planet’ is the kind of ass-kicker that we thought we’d never hear again after the explicitly terrible person Marilyn Manson shocked everyone by revealing himself to be an explicitly terrible person. There’s a driving ‘Beautiful People’ stomp which when combined with some feral gang vocals and well-placed ‘preacher lad shouting into a megaphone’ bits, offers an irresistible floor-filler to put a smile on the pallid face of even the most miserable of goths. But the hits don’t stop there!
‘What’s Left’ has a heart-racing Drum and Bass beat that underpins lurching bass guitar and squalling synths which is paired beautifully with some aggro vocals howling “show me what the fuck is left?!”. All of these elements take my millennial brain back to Spineshank’s superb “Height of Callousness”, a record of which I will perform egregious acts of physical violence in defence of. If Johnny Santo and the boys isn’t a ‘credible’ enough reference for you (you make me sick), how about former Dillinger Escape Plan lead singer and all round living legend Greg Puciato? Because ‘Plutonomicon’ reminds me of the finest Industrial aspects of his first solo album, with gut wrenching howled vocals bouncing off cavernous reverb while slinky synths and creepy whispering offer a superb dynamic contrast in the verses.
Hip Hop/Noise project Ho99o9 make a superb guest appearance on the bristling ‘Paralyze’, adding extra flavour and variety to the record over a big, obnoxious kick drum beat. It’s a perfect change of pace as theOGM and Eaddy deliver vicious bars over a beat that sounds like it was lifted from the Saw soundtrack. The song goes harder than 90% of Death Metal I’ve reviewed this year, though I’m still not totally sold on the weird sex noises right at the end. Gives me the ick, mate.
After a stunning one-two finale of ‘Scorpio’ with its Meshuggah riffs and melismatic female vocals and ‘Drift’ with its Dark Pop melancholy, the band throw in one last little treat with a Tears for Fears cover. Rember when every band on Roadrunner Records used to do an 80s pop cover at the end of their record? Ok imagine that tasty wee slice of nostaligia but well, y’know, good! 3TEETH take a faithful version of ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ and run it through their trusty Al Jourgensen filter. Adding extra layers of grime while keeping the immaculate Pop structure. It ain’t groundbreaking but it sure as hell hits the spot.
I did not expect to love this album anywhere near as much as I did but sweet Jamie Vardy am I glad I picked this one for review. Loaded with fist-pumping hits, heavy as hell and injected with the perfect dose of nostalgia, “End Ex” is the underground vampire sex club album we deserve in 2023!
02. Acme Death Machine
03. Slum Planet
04. What’s Left
05. Merchant of the Void
06. Higher Than Death
12. Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Alexis Mincolla – vocals
Xavier Swafford – keyboards, synthesizers
Andrew Means – bass, modular synthesizer (2017–present), drums
Chase Brawner – guitars
Nick Rossi – drums