On October 11, prog/post-hardcore band Toothgrinder released their third full-length album entitled I AM. The title is an appropriate relation to the band’s message of confidence with where they are both professionally in their careers and personally. Vocalist Justin Matthews comments that the album is about “making peace with myself. So, the mantra just seemed very fitting for the title as it’s a guided meditation I’ve used to get me through a lot.” The rest of the band is comprised of Jason Goss (rhythm guitar), Wills Weller (drums), and Johnuel Hasney (lead guitar and backing vocals). I AM truly builds on the work of these talented musicians and solidifies Toothgrinder’s spot amongst the truly unique acts of the current music scene.
The album begins with the explosive “The Silence Of A Sleeping WASP.” Matthews powerful and aggressive voice is on full display on this opening track and sets the tone for the album. The transition into “ohmymy” works well as this song is a tad slower than the opening track, but lyrically is one of the most powerful on the album. The song is about someone taking advantage of another with the proclamation “and damn, you made a fool out of me.” However, in the chorus, the same line is repeated with a deliberate pause and then “…this time” is added. That simple touch works very well with the song and fits the I AM message.
In true Toothgrinder form, no song on this album sounds like another and “My Favorite Hurt” and “The New Punk Rock” are also standout tracks on this work. It’s an interesting arrangement to save the title track for last, but that only adds to the message. “I AM” fittingly brings the album to a close. The message the band provides of their strength easily rubs off onto the listener. Please checkout the lyric video for “I AM” and the official video for “My Favorite Hurt” below.
This album made me a Toothgrinder fan. While some like bands to maintain their sound all the way through their careers, I am a fan of evolution and truly admire what Toothgrinder has produced here. I give the album a solid 8/10 and will add that the single “I AM” is one of the best of 2019.
- The Silence Of A Sleeping WASP
- My Favorite Hurt
- No Tribe
- No surrender in The House Of Leaves
- The New Punk Rock
- too soft for the scene, TOO MEAN FOR THE GREEN
- Can U Live Today?
- The Fire of June
- I AM
Please checkout more on Toothgrinder at the social media outlets listed below, and finally, the band just finished up an amazing tour with All That Remains and Lacuna Coil, but please be on the lookout for future performances!