Fishtooth- First EP Review

Posted: September 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

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Fishtooth is a heavy band that had kind of a rocky start. Their first line up had a frontman, and they were a four piece. I had the chance to play a few shows along side of them during that era. They were an okay band. Im only being honest when I say that they were unremarkable, and easily forgettable. But they were nice guys, and they were always down to fill out a bill when another band was needed for a show. I always felt like they were holding back with their sound.

Fast forward a little bit, and we have the departure of their frontman. Now most bands would seek out a new singer, and keep on the same path they had set themselves upon from the get-go. However, Fishtooth decided to remain a three piece and start sharing vocal duties. Remember how I said it seemed like they were holding back? Well they certainly were. As a three piece they came back, and started again with the Pour Larry’s battle of the bands this past year. And whoa…..what a change.

Fishtooth’s EP really tries to capture their new live sound. It’s groove heavy rock, with well crafted song structures. A far cry from when they started out. They take a lot of cues from nu-metal, but also from modern rock bands as well. It’s a good blend of things that sound familiar, but with their own spin on it. You can hear their influences as they take a lot of pointers from bands like Staind, System of a Down,Tool, Chevelle, Lamb Of God, and Korn.

The EP opens with “Self Entitled” which happens to be the stand out song for me, personally. It has a Chevelle vibe, weaving clean melodic parts with all out chaos in between. It’s heavy as hell, with downtuned guitars and brutal vocals. Like i said, this is definitely my favorite track, and a great album opener.

The other track that I really dig is “Existence”. It’s a fast paced burner, with a killer guitar riff. The chorus of the song really hits hard and is extremely catchy.

The thing with having more than one vocalist, is that it has to be cohesive. Mastodon manages to pull this off flawlessly, as everyone in that band seem to work as a unit. Fishtooth are on their way to pulling off the same thing. The switching between vocalists never seems forced, and they work well in tandem. Even though their styles are different entirely. One being more of a hardcore “yell” (think Slayer) and another with melodic singing that veers right into all out Metal screaming, The switch offs work really well, and keep the songs interesting. The song “Vyktum” really shows this off.

I always hate to call out an individual member of the band, but in this case I have to. The drumming on this album is SUPERB. 

Not to say that the bass and guitars are lacking in any way. Everyone in the band carries their own weight, but for me….the drums really stand out. There’s some really great double bass beats, and when the whole band locks into that groove, things get HEAVY. This EP isn’t when I first noticed this, however. It was when I saw them live that I noticed their breakdowns with double bass grooves that just about punches you in the chest. Thankfully, they don’t use this trick in every song. It’s used sparingly, so whether you’re listening to the EP, or watching them at a live show you are constantly wondering “When is another heavy part coming?”. This is a good thing, because I think if they relied solely on breakdown heaviness, the music would get really boring, really quick.

I know Im reviewing an album here, but I have to say that if you really want to enjoy Fishtooth, their live show is where it’s at. The EP captures a lot of that energy that they have live, but certainly not all of it. I can even honestly say, that I think these songs sound tighter live, than they do on recording!

All in all, Fishtooth is a band that rose like a Phoenix from the ashes, and came out on top. I’m really interested in what they are going to do next. There is really only one tiny gripe I have and that is the lyrics are very straight forward. But that’s really the only thing I can say negatively about the EP. These guys could have easily thrown in the towel with the departure of their vocalist. But the fact that they not only stuck together, but managed to improve their sound and evolve…..well that says a lot.

You can catch them live in Statesboro:

Sincision – Statesboro, GA Metal

Enterprise Earth – Spokone, WA Deathcore

Awaken The Dawn – Savannah, GA Deathcore

Fishtooth – Savannah, GA Metal

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 @ Bigshow’s.
200 Lanier Dr. Statesboro, GA.

All Ages. $5. 7:00 PM.
More info at www.coastalrocksavannah.com

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