In the world of hardcore and metal, supergroups are pretty few and far between, but for obvious reasons when they do pop up, they seem to always explode right out of the gate, showcasing the honed, exceptional abilities of each notable member.
The new band Tooth and Claw is no exception to this rule. Made up of members of such monolithic names as Earth Crisis, Ecostrike, Catharsis, Die Young, Magnitude, SECT, and Undying, nobody will be surprised that the material they're churning out is already on a whole other level of skill and aggression.
With its members spread out between North Carolina and Texas, Tooth and Claw is a brainchild of Scott Crouse, Daniel Austin, James Chang, and Cameron Joplin, born from the unfortunate reality of the shelter-in-place orders that have endured this year as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis.
Turning what has been a frustrating, and for a lot of musicians creativity stifling, time into an incredible new project that forges new paths of aggression and musical fury into the world that exists between the so often blurred subgenres of hardcore and metal.
In not so many words, this band and their material fucking hits. Do yourself a favor and keep up with their every move, you most definitely won’t regret it.
The track speaks to the dyad that exists in all of us, the ability to exist in either a submissive or aggressive way in response to the various trials and tribulations that life throws at us. To give some insight into the mindset of he and the band in the formulation of this song, vocalist Daniel said:
“When Scott originally sent me the demo for this song, he mentioned he had been listening to a lot of Alice in Chains. That choppy, dissonant lead riff immediately made me think of the Alice in Chains song "Man in the Box"…. (and) I realized I had pretty much been listening to that song my whole life yet not knowing precisely what the lyrics to it were about. Turns out they are about an addict's internal dialogue between himself and the voice of his addiction pulling him back into drug use, like a ‘dog who gets beat.’
"What I took from that was that I liked the concept of an inner dialogue, and that's the driving concept of what 'Arrival' illustrates – that duality within each of us, the passive and the aggressive. Our song is a portrayal of an inner dialogue about retaliation–the angels and the demons within each of us trying to influence us to either obey an oppressor or return the aggression of the trespasses that have been visited upon us. It's about that moment of reaching a breaking point when you have to fight back.
"For many of us in the so-called 'civilized' world, both collectively and individually, we've lost our teeth, our ability to fight back, in part due to history of compliance and the self-defeating belief that we couldn't do anything to change our situation. But then, in a moment, that Mr. Hyde comes out, and we learn that there are forces of destruction within us that can be very useful in terms of getting what we want for ourselves, or at the very least, drawing clear boundaries between those who might take advantage of us to declare to them: 'No more.'
"We're seeing this very narrative play out in America right now in the protests and pushback against unjust policing, and I think it is a beautiful thing. But as with all things Tooth and Claw will do, it doesn't necessarily have to entail any kind of sociopolitical interpretation. This can also be a very personal story. I've certainly got my own personal points of experience that informed how I fleshed this one out lyrically.”
They’ve made it clear that there is only more to come from Tooth and Claw, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we can’t wait to hear more.
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