Review Summary: Unless you're a die hard Fear Before fan, it's best not to spend your money on this.Fear Before the March of Flames
– A Little Less Teeth
Preceding the removal of “the March of Flames” from Fear Before
’s name was A Little Less Teeth
; an EP clocking in at around 21-minutes that is split between live performances and original demos of some newer tracks. Having only recently begun delving into the mathcore/experimental/post-hardcore band’s regular discography, I thought listening to a few live performances and some songs that provided the structure for more polished versions would be interesting to say the least, and would cement in me the right to call myself a Fear Before
The album begins with three live performances, two of which are from The Always Open Mouth
, and the third from the band’s upcoming self-titled release. The first track is Mouth
, arguably the band’s most popular song. Surprisingly, the vocals are louder and clearer than the album release, but not to the point where they drown out the instrumentals. They did a pretty flawless job, but the same can’t be said for High as a Horse
, as the guitar occasionally muddles the vocals. All I can say about Epic Song
(to be renamed Review Our Lives
on the self-titled album) is it brings back some of the heavier hardcore elements that saturate the group’s earlier releases. While vocals aren’t exactly abundant with a prolonged instrumental period (in comparison to the song’s length) situated in the middle of the song, a majority of the vocals are screams, with some harsh yelling thrown in at the end. After this section, I was left yearning for more, and felt that these three tracks were rather uninspired. That isn’t exactly the case, as it is more the song selection that bugged me. I expected a lot of heavy because it was a live performance, which in turn would bring out a great deal of emotion that these few songs are somewhat lacking.
The three demos aren’t mind-blowing either. They were taken from two of the band’s studio albums, and 237
was picked from the Master’s of Horror compilation. The production is expectedly raw, but is overall poor as well. Should Have Stayed in the Shallows
is by far the most solid, effectively mixing short and speedy riffs with mass amounts of chaotic screaming. It epitomizes the band’s old, mindfully disorganized and hectic style of music. The Absolute Future Absolute Past
combination wasn’t impressive at all, with unpleasant singing and the cluttered keys near the end ruining any hope of a decent closing track.
A Little Less Teeth
is just barely satisfying. It has a few moments of brilliance, but they are ultimately dominated by a fair share of plain average moments. It also jumps between being a demo compilation and a live EP, and being too short in both categories for either category, it is lacking greatly. Proving to simply be a gift for fans between releases, it is very difficult to recommend this to listeners new to the band. If you love Fear Before
, there’s no harm in picking this up. If not, go grab one of their full-length albums.