Carrying the torch lit by his socially conscious post-hardcore band Letlive since its dissolution in 2017, vocalist and lyricist, Jason Aalon Butler, has taken his hardcore and rap metal supergroup Fever 333 into an increasingly radical direction. Fever 333’s third studio release Wrong Generation leaps into late 2020 with a righteous fury that stays true to its influences of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, and Black Flag.
Wrong Generation opens with “Bite Back,” a defiant track condemning police brutality that was written in the first two weeks of protests following the murder of George Floyd. With its no-nonsense, hard-hitting riffs and energetic d-beat influenced drumming, “Bite Back” doesn’t stray far from the hardcore formula.
The following two tracks “Block Is On Fire” and the eponymous “Wrong Generation” lean more heavily on the band’s trap influences, with a steady half-time beat and sampling techniques reminiscent of Run the Jewels’ production style. Continuing the political themes established by “Bite Back,” the lyrics describe chaotic scenes of anti-police brutality protests, set to police sirens floating in the background.
The EP closes out with two songs that take a melancholy yet hopeful tone, rather than boiling over with righteous rage like the previous tracks. “Last Time” is a brief, toned down piano ballad that reflects upon the inherited trauma of the Black diaspora experience, but also inspires newfound confidence in the new generation’s ability to effect change. The line “From three fifths a man to a million men strong…” is a perfect summary of the message of Wrong Generation. This leads nicely into the closing track, and lead single, “Supremacy,” which fittingly concludes the EP with an inspiring anthem chronicling Butler’s activism and the work that has yet to be done.
With stylized lyrical repetition and harsh vocals reminiscent of rap-metal pioneers like Rage Against the Machine’s Zach De La Rocha, and production techniques clearly inspired by the band’s hip-hop influences, Fever 333 delivers its simple, powerful message in a highly polished package. With more traditional hardcore tracks like “For the Record” featuring Rotting Out’s Walter Delgado, and nu-metal inspired songs like “Walk Through the Fire” and “U Wanted a Fight,” listeners across the genre spectrum will find something to enjoy. Wrong Generation is an expertly crafted cross-genre release that perfectly captures today’s tumultuous political and cultural climate.