The third studio EP from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvanians Toothless who found their footing in 2015 marks an explosion in triplicate. Taking influence from the likes of The Chariot, Everytime I Die, and The Dillinger Escape Plan, they were formed by guitarist Eric Novroski and drummer James Slattery, brought in frontman Travis Antoniello. After cycling through a couple of bassists, Brian Zannetti filled the role of guitarist and Novroski switched to bass. A year later, 2016 saw their self titled debut, followed by sophomore EP “Red” in 2018. Both releases are Chock-full of odd time signatures without getting too stuffy, biting vocals, outrageous drumming, and pummeling hooks, giving them that classic Chaotic Hardcore sound. Entering Silver Bullet Studios with duo Gregory James Thomas and Chris Teti (Daybreak, Old Graves, Downhaul) handling production, engineering and mixing while Bill Henderson (Downhaul, Enabler, Incendiary) at Azimuth Mastering added the final touch.
Soaked in feedback “The Neighbors” gets “Misinformed” off to a punchy start, front loaded with tension before it bursts into chaotic life, those odd time signatures twisting and turning like the knife in your back. If you’ve never heard Toothless before then you won’t know of the irony of the bands name as they have plenty of biting lyrics and rapid fire chaotic hardcore sounds that mean they are about as far from Toothless as they could be. There are easy comparisons with Everytime I Die but lyrically Antoniello doesn’t bring that sense of irony that Keith Buckley does. Instead, he uses pitch changes to create different voices and on a line by line basis, as and when he feels like it, in a totally unpredictable way that still manages to hold together. Justin Bonitz of Tallah makes a guest appearance on “Grinner” which rips through the town like a tornado tearing the roof off of every building in its wake. Slattery sets the rhymic timing and each member of the band play as fast as they can to keep up and avoid the train wreck. Tapping sections have been overlayed in the guitar work which is incredible and if there ever was an advert for the band, it would be this. Bonitz having a deeper vocal tone means they’ve picked the right guest because he gives the whole frenetic track a real sense of gravelly soaker gravity. After the first two songs, clean vocals might not be something you’d expect, but backed by screams “Timeline: Eroded” brings them to the plate with some finesse. The result is full on Metal track rather than a Hardcore one with roots in the early 2000s and hints at influences from the likes of Twelve Tribes. Slower, heavier riffs with play off against the underlying melody and the slower vocals give the lyrics plenty of space to breathe and permiate your skull [8/10]
1. The Neighbors
2. Grinner (ft. Justin Bonitz of Tallah)
3. Timeline: Eroded
“Misinformed” EP by Toothless is out 5th May and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp