From their pounding self-titled debut to the triumph of Wealth and Hellbeing, South Wales power trio Made Of Teeth have been right on the cusp of something special for a few years now and Sociopathogen, the new album and their first on AFP Records may just be it. As members of Obey Cobra and Taint (among others) they were renowned for pushing the boundaries of heavy music within the local scene, but it’s now time for the world to be let in on our little secret. Sociopathogen is a gigantic album in every sense of the word. Drums-bigger, Vocals-bigger, Riffs-bigger, Bass- you’ve guessed it.
Setting it off is Four, which plays to the band’s strengths, reminding us what they are all about, as a typically disorientating drum pattern from Steve O Jones, makes way for some equally angular guitar work, before breaking down into a Today Is The Day style commotion. More frantic drum work brings in the single Three4A1ER a song which lies somewhere between Karp and Cro-Mags. Some heavy low-end work signals the entrance of Low On Water, which explodes into life, developing into a straight up hardcore rager and guaranteed circle pit inducer. The aforementioned rage spills over into J.T.W with co vocalist/guitarist Chris West spitting “Ignorance Is Bliss” at every given opportunity, with all the venom of a pissed off Scott Kelly, only letting up for beautiful bit of guitar/ bass work towards the end. A slow creeping threat is forthcoming as Small Operation opens before threats of “here comes the madness, here comes the fear” are realised. Definitely felt some Melvins vibes on that one. Shotgun Steve comes in with the grooviest of bass lines from bassist Tom Cole who also throws down some devastating Steve Austin style vocals and we are quickly onto Never Heard Of Them. A straight up rocker, that see the band almost veer into normal territory. In what sounds like an argument put to music What’s The Time? is about as abrasive as it gets and sees Cole/West battling for vocal time and leads us nicely into the riffy end piece of Pearly Whites, in which the band switch from crushing riffs to staccato pummelling with depressing ease.
Sociopathogen is another very strong record to stand against a back catalogue of strong records and captures the band in devastating form. They’ve retained the essence of what makes them the energy that they are, whilst pushing the limitations of what can be achieved in heavy music and on top of that, producer Gethin Peacock has managed to encapsulate the intensity of their live show onto disc. A must have for anybody that considers themselves a fan of heavy music. Made Of Teeth are an absolute force….Chris Andrews