Review Summary: Fed Through the Teeth Machine is a good album that is painfully obese with amazing guitar licks and motifs.
A noble nod should be given to members of The Red Chord, both past and present, in showcasing to the world the creative genius that is guitarist Mike "Gunface" Mckenzie, an accolade that, while completely deserving, might have come at a sharp price. Unfortunately, The Red Chord's latest crown achievement is continuously undercut by it's inability to match or surpass the dazzling ability of their star pupil.
Fed Through the Teeth Machine marks the 1st LP (out of 4) recorded by The Red Chord as a 4-piece. Musically, Fed to the Teeth Machine is probably the least crushing of The Red Chord's offerings, which isn't so much a criticism as a remark on the evolution and solidifying of The Red Chord's sound.
The drums are as blistering as ever. Hardcore punk passages open up to experimental death metal blasts and rolls of various BPMs while Gunface's trademark atonal scales and pinch harmonics continue to build upon an even more impressive era of sludgy guitar crescendos and "uber-chug" hyper palm-muted leads. It's all very heavy and aggressive, but played with a distinctive, jazz finesse and calm.
The main problem lies in the one-dimensionality of the album, which is a VERY common problem for most 4-piece bands. Bands like Pig Destroyer and Converge understand that the final product is *sacrament* which means unfortunately, less is really more. Knowing what you want to artistically achieve, and getting rid of as much filler as possible, regardless of how killer the riff may sound, is key to writing a great album.
My primary criticisms (at first) were towards the bassist, drummer and vocalist in not really elevating their roles beyond support level, but after more listens, I've come to realize that Gunface's material is so obtuse and over-written that it doesn't really allow for too many moments of inspired collaboration, leaving myself quite indifferent by the end of each track.
Fed Through the Teeth Machine is a good album that is painfully obese with amazing guitar licks and motifs. Unfortunately, the final product seems extremely haphazard, as both the functional production and instrumentality seem to take a secondary backseat to that which is The "Gun" Show.