It is rather remarkable, now I think about it, just how fast 3TEETH have risen in the industrial ranks. I only came across the band five years ago – their first appearance was on Tuesday Ten: 180 in early July 2013 – and I can thank my friends at I Die: You Die for tipping me to them in the first place.
Over that time, they’ve released two albums (the first of which was #1 in Countdown: 2014: Albums), a remix album and a steady stream of other remixes, and most recently an exceptional split single with ho99o9, played a lot of shows, supported Tool and Rammstein, and now signed to major metal label Century Media.
That, in any book, is a hell of a rise. But the band have earned it. They’ve worked really fucking hard, written some great songs and made lots of friends along the way. And they are now reaping the rewards of that hard work.
Due to being elsewhere (at yes, another gig earlier in the evening), I rather missed support act Creepiing, entering the venue just as the last song was up-and-running. Judging on the positive comments on the band from others later in the evening, though, I’ll be curious to check them out next time around – and listen to them beforehand, too.
No such problems with 3TEETH, of course, a band that I’ve listened to an awful lot over the past five years. But the one area where they’ve not always delivered has been live. Earlier on, they were perhaps a little mechanical, maybe finding their way as they sorted out their live performance and image. But the last time I saw them, at Infest in 2016, their time playing vastly larger venues with Tool and Rammstein had clearly rubbed off on them, and they sounded like a different band.
&#gt;shutdown.exe&#lt; showed more evidence of that influence (But Listen: 152) – and it has got better with more listens, too – and this well-attended show only reinforced that. In some respects, they sounded like a different band, such is the improvement in their live sound – with a fifth member of the band now on drums, with Andrew having moved to synths from what I could tell, and an acoustic drum kit rather than electronic drums, they sound absolutely massive now.
Pit of Fire
Master of Decay
Yes, even in the upstairs room at Electrowerkz.
I know things have been improved up there, but the changes have meant a revelation in gigs there, and 3TEETH sounded awesomely loud on Thursday. It was also blindingly lit, too, with various lights focussed on the crowd (and scorchingly warm as they tracked across the room). The lights, at points, both obscured and illuminated the crowd, which was also an interesting mix. If ever there was a sign of how much this band have crossed over, it was in that there were as many metalheads as there were rivetheads, and perhaps even more interestingly just as many women as there were men in the crowd. That, and the venue was sold out – and maybe next time it won’t be in a venue as small as this.
Lead singer Lex, of course, controlled proceedings from the front of the stage, too, from start to finish and kept the crowd bubbling nicely, but none of this would have been possible without great songs, and despite all the changes, it was interesting – to me, anyway – that some things haven’t changed.
Sure, the opener has now changed, with Divine Weapon providing a neat, grinding intro, but the following three songs haven’t, likely because they are such a bulletproof trio. The thrashing, radiation nightmare of X-Day still absolutely slays, as does the groovy industrial rock kicks of Final Product, and the darker, slower Dust gives a bit of a breather before we move on, but even the breakdown of that has needle-sharp teeth.
After that, though, what was really brave was the mellowed out – well, slower – mid-section, which spread out over three songs and ten minutes or so, and in lesser hands would have killed all momentum. But here, in front of an enthusiastic and ready-to-go crowd, it was accepted (particularly the thundering interlude of Chasm), and patience was rewarded by a savage, turbocharged Atrophy that reminded me that it is by far the best track on the second album.
That said, Pit of Fire – probably the most metal the band have got yet – makes vastly more sense live, as this is the environment that it was clearly intended to be heard in, and the vicious, snarling power of it only whipped the crowd up more as the pit frankly exploded into life.
What wasn’t played was just as interesting. Pearls 2 Swine, one of the tracks that got our attention in the first place, was missing in action – a shame as the pummelling beats and war critique still are on point, that’s for sure – while one of the most interesting tracks on shutdown.exe, Oblivion Coil, also has not been picked up for live performance. A shame, as the industrial grooves of that track see the band strike out on a slightly different timeline, and I’d like to hear it in a set sometime.
The encore, though, was one last reminder of how brilliant this band can be. Nihil – the tribal, fist-pumping opener to their debut – has taken up a position as the encore track, and finally, after a few times where I’ve seen it where an early poor sound balance had robbed the track of impact, it hit really, really hard here, the energy of it roaring, pulsating and rippling through the crowd.
I can’t help but feel that this will be the last time I see 3TEETH in a venue as small as Electrowerkz. Everything that they’ve been working at seems to be coming together now, and with the additional reach that their new label will give them, by the time of their third album (apparently later this year), expect bigger things.
I have no problem with this. Take the chances while you get them and all that.
In the meantime, 3TEETH are at last the awesomely powerful live band that they always promised to be.