When former Orchid members Brad Wallace and Will Killingsworth started Bucket Full Of Teeth, they said they intended for it to be “generic power violence.” Well, with the release of IV, the band’s first full-length, they have completely surpassed that intention.
Simply put, this album is insane. The whole thing feels like a journey through the head of a bi-polar sociopath. At times it is livid and dangerous, ready to attack anyone who approaches, while at other times it is euphoric and introspective, able to appreciate the more subtle and beautiful aspects of life.
IV opens with “Imperfect Vibrations,” a track compiled of fuzzy noises that are faded into the background. This 44-second feedback leaves your ears completely unprepared for the ambush that follows. “Capitol Distracts And Imprisons” explodes with perhaps the most Orchid-like moment on the album. Hyper-speed grind beats and quick, sliding guitars scream under the roar of disgruntled vocals. About a minute into the song suddenly dips off into clean guitar before ending with some Converge-styled chugging.
From there the album moves into its first pensive moment with “The Dream Continues,” a track made up solely of electronic-sounding wind and subdued, screechy sound effects. After this, the album continues its reflective to spastic dichotomy. Songs like “A Morbid Gathering” and “Comfort Made Us Passive” are vitriolic and devastating despite their small moments of restraint, while songs like “The Path,” “Confessions,” and “Embrace The Current Time” are instrumental tracks that act like the eye of the storm with their softer, more relaxed feel. Then, at the end of the album Bucket Full of Teeth crank out “A Hopeful Sound” and “Let Us Resonate,” both of which are contemporary thrashy hardcore interjected with elements of 70's hard rock.
What is truly impressive about this album is not that it is able to harness two completely different sounds (hardcore and electronic ambience) but that is able to blend them seamlessly. The production and programming on this album are amazing as they allow for songs to merge into one another and for bits and pieces of sounds to interpose in areas you would never expect.
The only problems with IV are that the album leaves you wanting more with its sixteen minute running time, the vocals seem to lack almost all sense of melody and can get too deep and cartoonish at times, and the band dips into moments of “generic power violence” every so often.
If this truly is Bucket Full of Teeth's final release, as they have claimed, at least they have gone out on top. This album is one of the more innovative and extreme heavy albums I have heard in a long time.