Album Review: Fever 333 – Strength in Numb333rs

Fever 333 are apparently the “next big thing” having surprised people with festival appearances and an EP release last year. Such is the problem with receiving a ridiculous amount of new music each day (8000+ albums/EPs last year…), they’re one we didn’t pick up on. Strength in Numb333rs is my first exposure to the Californian trio… and first impressions are good.

The music is a rap / metal hybrid. Plenty of samples and vocal effects clashing with drums and guitars, lyrics being machine-gunned out rap-style or in a more melodic metal style depending on whereabouts in a song you happen to be. There are quite a few bands mixing non-metal with our favourite genre, and many of them are fusing hip-hop and rap alongside six strings and thump-tubs, but Fever 333 are genuinely doing it better than most.

Lead single “Burn It” (video below) is as good an example as anything. Kicking off with a nicely distorted guitar and RAtM-esque squeals, the first verse is spat out with venom and mentions of Rodney King before we launch into a chorus that could have been written by Linkin Park. Catchy, singalong-y and bouncy, it should have the roofs raising off any venue where it’s being played. The track rattles back and forth between the two opposite styles, but never seems disjointed. The huge drop towards the end should burn off some adrenaline before the chorus sends voices soaring once more.

A good start.

Thing is, that’s not the highlight. “Burn It” is good, but “Prey For Me” is better. The singy bits are more singy and the rappy bits more… well, rappy. “One Of Us” is a bit of a mish-mash, if I’m honest. There are some great heavy bits, but parts of the track rely too much on a simple bass line for my personal preference. It’s very much a blip, though, as songs like “The Innocent” and “Am I Here?” (shades of Falling in Reverse) throw more variety in the listener’s direction.

“Inglewood”, named for where the band was formed, is another oddball but one I found myself liking after a few listens. Seven minutes long and “gently rappy” rather than the previous loud shouty type, it’s lyrically superb and emotive. Seven minutes well spent.

Fever 333 have pulled together rap and metal in a way that Papa Roach used to, but in a different way. They’ve got stadium anthems that Linkin Park wouldn’t be ashamed of. They’re also fresh enough to experiment a bit and chuck in some fairly heavy bits up against clean vocals and airy guitar tones. Occasionally it just sounds a bit too much, but in the vast majority of cases the whole thing just works… and works well.

The band are currently on tour supporting Bring Me The Horizon. I’d expect to see them coming back around shortly afterwards to support Strength in Numb333rs and I’m very much interested in seeing them throw some of these numbers out through a big stack of Marshalls.

Strength in Numb333rs is out on January 18th

Fever333: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | youtube

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