ARTIST: FEVER 333
TITLE: WRONG GENERATION
LABEL: ROADRUNNER RECORDS
JOURNALIST: ALISDAIR GRICE
Hundreds upon hundreds of names scrolling near endlessly as FEVER 333 take a vacuous moment of silence halfway through their “LONG LIVE THE INNOCENT” live demonstration. For a band so outspoken regarding their staunch political viewpoints, the briefest moment of silence is a statement in itself. Choosing to occupy that juncture with the names of every beautiful black life that has been lost to recent police brutality is no easy undertaking. Following this by screaming “Say their names” before ripping into THE INNOCENT off 2019s sophomore album STRENGTH IN NUMB33RS is a heavy-hearted reminder of the daily atrocities happening every day in the USA.
The timely follow up WRONG GENERATION is a eulogy to every Black life lost to police violence; a battle cry for unity and protest throughout America. Having had personal confrontations with law enforcement himself, vocalist Jason Aalon Butler shares his first-hand accounts of police violence, conflating this with a spotlight on the bigger picture of systemic inequality, he challenges listeners to have evermore important conversations about race and inequality.
Following the tragic death of George Floyd on the 25th May in Minneapolis, Butler took to the streets of LA for 13 emotionally exhausting days protesting with the Black Lives Matter movement. Fueled by the intense experience, FEVER took to the studio and produced 8 tracks over the next 8 days. This later became WRONG GENERATION, a seething attack on police violence and racial inequality, addressed through the medium of punk.
“a seething attack on police violence and racial inequality, addressed through the medium of punk.“
Tapping into a very modern crisis, Butler screams “I wanna be there when the last racist statue falls” on BITE BACK, citing the 2020 phenomena of culling the world of statues celebrating racism and slavery. Underpinned by the thundering riffs of Stephen Harrison and the precision stampede of Improta’s percussive attack. This form of candid protest is thematic throughout the album, with long time RTJ collaborator Boots-produced track BLOCK IS ON FIRE lyrically focusing on Butler’s own experiences during the 1992 Rodney King Rebellion and the parallels drawn between then and now.
Echoes of Rage Against The Machine on YOU WANTED A FIGHT run deep, with the familiar repetition of “No justice, just us” and signature Morello-esque guitar wizardry pulling the track together. Collaborator Travis Barker’s influence can be felt heavily throughout this track and WRONG GENERATION, even sampling the 2011 “Carry It” featuring RZA, Raekwon and Tom Morello, ending in a classic, catastrophic metal outro, rife with feedback, drum rolls and distorted screeches from Harrison’s fingers.
“this collection of tracks is not only apposite activism, it is a manifesto for change.“
Straying from their staple electronic-heavy metalcore, the stomping, near sing-along mantra of “WALK THROUGH THE FIRE TOGETHER” and the feverish punk sensibilities of “FOR THE RECORD” create necessary diversity in a powerful record. Although their angle of attack may vary from track to track, their message remains the same. Finale SUPREMACY aims to disassemble the idea of white supremacy, with Butler functioning as a conduit for the millions of marginalised voices screaming to be heard.
If Run The Jewels are a testament to the power of rap in shifting cultural norms, then FEVER 333 hold the flag high for the heavy music community. The empowering delivery of these 8 outstanding tracks attests to their tenacity for empowering their audience to get up and become advocates for what they believe in. The world is changing quickly and FEVER are here to react; not by means of sensationalist pageantry, but through upending the norm, disputing traditional beliefs and inciting actionable changes into the frowned upon Millennial-cum-Gen Z Generation.
Fervent, immediate activism is the underlying agenda of WRONG GENERATION. FEVER are one of the few bands on the scene who have been politically outspoken since their inception, and dissatisfied with becoming part of a vapid social justice movement, this collection of tracks is not only apposite activism, it is a manifesto for change.