Fever 333 – ‘Strength In Numb333rs’

By Dave Stewart

Fever 333 have an incredible amount of hype surrounding them right now. They appeared almost out of nowhere back in July 2017, introducing themselves to the world by bursting out the back of a U-Haul truck to play an energetic whirlwind of a show in a parking lot. A couple of years, releases and intense live shows later, they find themselves in 2019 with their debut record in tow ‘Strength In Numb333rs’ is that record, and it’s the pure embodiment of everything they represent. According to front man Jason Aalon Butler, those things are what he refers to as the three C’s, “community, charity and change”. But there’s a fourth C that’s present on this record. Chaos.

Lead single ‘Burn It’ is an angry, bouncy, catchy number that burrows its way into your brain after the first listen. But this is a mere taster of what this record has to offer. This record is an even mixture of everything each member is known for, with a few extra ingredients. It has Butler’s swagger, unmistakable tone and inextinguishable energy. It has guitarist Stephen Harrison’s (The Chariot) sonic punishment and unpredictability. It’s dripping with the groove and technical wizardry of drummer Aric Improta (Night Verses). Throw all those things in a pot, add a generous amount of hip-hop influence and gigantic choruses, and this is what you get.

‘Animal’ is dripping with class, combining rhythm driven verses with huge elating choruses. ‘The Innocent’ tricks you into thinking it’s going to be relaxed, then hits you square in the jaw with enormous riffs and ferocious delivery. ‘One Of Us’ is a groove ridden monster, making it impossible to keep your head still. The gems here, though, are the tracks that end in ‘/3’. Each song up is made up of two tracks, sharing lyrical theme but not musical direction.‘Prey For Me/3’, for example, starts off as a radio friendly belter, but progresses into a thrashy and dirty face melter. There isn’t one weak song on show here. It’s pedal to the metal until the last track turns into silence.

All these songs are enormous, but what makes the songs even bigger is the lyrical content. Lyrics that speak of government issues, of corruption, and of greed. But the most important theme here is coming together to overcome adversity and move forwards. If you’ve been waiting for a politically charged movement to fill the void Rage Against The Machine left, the wait is over. It’s here.

This record is powerful, both musically and lyrically. Each track is carrying so much weight, and every single gram is pummelled into your ears from start to finish. The guitars are gritty and thick. The bass is a perfect balance of smooth and jagged. The drums act as the perfect compliment to the music – complex and pounding one moment and stripped back and subtle the next. The vocals are the star of the show here, though. Every single word that leaves Butler’s mouth has so much impact behind it, and it doesn’t let off for one second. The vocal delivery elevates the music to a whole other level.

To say ‘Strength In Numb333rs’ is simply impressive is a huge understatement. It’s so much more than that. There’s so much energy and venom packed into these songs that it’s inevitable some will spill over. That is exactly what their live shows are for. Their explosive performances are a visual representation of the passion and pain in the music. If you relate to the issues they raise, if you share mindset they’re broadcasting, those shows are as much your release as it is theirs. Fever 333 are so much more than a band – they are a voice for this generation. This is one fever you won’t want a vaccination for.

DAVE STEWART

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