There’s unlikely to ever be another band like letlive.. Bands make political statements all the time, but so few manage to capture the same white-hot, lightning-in-a-bottle attitude that aims square for the jugular and doesn’t let go, not less in a canon of genuinely classic post-hardcore albums. But even if that band are no longer around, the ravine-sized chip on Jason Butler’s shoulder has birthed The Fever 333, a project built on revolution in its most physical, visceral sense, not just the call to arms of the music.
And when Butler himself describes the music as “a contingent piece”, it’s not as though Made An America is as fantastically detailed or immersive as letlive. were, at least not at this stage. Instead, The Fever 333 takes the frenzied post-hardcore template and builds upon it with Butler’s well-publicised loves of punk and hip-hop, and on tracks like Hunting Season and Soul’d Me Out, brings a particularly ragged, blasted sound that’s incredibly potent, even more surprising considering that John Feldmann is behind the production desk.
It’s not as if there was ever going to be significant structural compromises, though. As a frontman, Butler remains as viciously quick as ever, raging against the prejudices and inequality that are a blight on the lifestyles of minorities in modern America. That fire can definitely be felt in the Rage Against The Machine-isms of the title track and the quaking noise-rap of POV, but more so than letlive. ever were, the power of The Fever 333 comes from mood rather than content. It’s understandable considering that this is essentially a companion piece to a much larger movement, but the instantly identifiable, emotionally overflowing fire that was such a force with letlive. is definitely dampened here. As much as the execution is designed to be different (Yelawolf’s quite excellent appearance on (The First Stone) Changes pretty much confirms that singlehandedly), just that bit more punch could be here to really push this EP over the edge.
But even so, The Fever 333 have already laid down the groundwork for a hugely ambitious project that could cause some genuine societal reverberations if everything goes to plan. Made An America is certainly prove of their drive and hunger, a storming manifesto for change that couldn’t be more relevant in the current climate. The shortcomings are noticeable, but this is, after all, just one piece in a much larger movement; if this is merely a starting block, the intended plans to follow could be literally game-changing.
For fans of: letlive., Rage Against The Machine, Ho99o9
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Made An America’ by The Fever 333 is out now on Roadrunner Records.