We’re possibly reaching the flip side of an interesting conundrum. In the previous decade, metalcore reached saturation point and became a formulaic self-caricature to say the least, so the response from many was to look to the turn of the millennium for inspiration.
With the wave of hardcore bands to emerge recently, by-and-large it’s hard not to trace their sound back to the likes of Converge or Botch. We’ve seen dozens of new furious, guttural, and blood-thirsty bands rise to prominence in the last few years, possibly making the aforementioned approach the new contemporary. But even with the insatiable appetite for this music never really going away, there will always be one band that can stand above the pack.
Pennsylvania’s Toothless are here with their third EP, ‘Misinformed’, which brims with potential.
Opener ‘The Neighbors’ comes in with a chant-able refrain, complete with a Keith Buckley-esque snarl vocally, helping to warm us up before it switches up soon enough to panic chords and freneticism. There’s certainly a formula to a lot of aspects of metalcore, but, with Toothless, you don’t know what’s coming next.
And for ‘Grinner’, there’s all-out fury, with vocalist Travis Antoniello pushing himself to the very top of his range, and the band firing on all cylinders. While some bands in the current crop of metalcore excel best at meaty riffs and straight-down-the-line carnage (Knocked Loose), or haphazard chaos (The Callous Daoboys), Toothless appear have a firm grip on both aspects already, which could prove vital going forward.
‘Timeline: Eroded’ reveals more strings to their bow, slightly resembling latter day Norma Jean, featuring clean vocals and some restraint from the band. The previous two tracks were varied enough, but this manages to add even more layers. It even gets borderline ambient at the end, too.
‘Misinformed’ shows that Toothless in actual fact have plenty of teeth, nailing just about all aspects of metalcore in all of ten minutes, making for a potentially brilliant full-length.