‘Fab Tool’: a hint of Carpenter Brut’s new direction


Carpenter Brut

The music video for ‘Fab Tool’ features new and old Brut iconography, such as goat skulls and statues of Anubis.

Kenneth Castro, Yearbook Section Editor

“Fab Tool” comes only a few months after Carpenter Brut’s collaboration with Seth Ickerman to create the soundtrack for “Blood Machines,” a film sequel to one of Brut’s music videos. The new single is a departure from his previous LPs, Trilogy and Leather Teeth. While “Leather Teeth” was an album centered around ’80s glam metal and slasher flicks, “Fab Tool” definitely has more hints of the Southern Gothic music genre.

 At first blush, the overall vocals do sound jarring, even if a little generic, compared to his other works. Vocals have appeared in his previous works, such as “Cheerleader Effect” and “Beware the Beast,” but it pulls off the very sincere kitsch ’80s mood of the Leather Teeth album.  Although, after a few listens, I think it helps craft the Lovecraftian atmosphere well, even if the genre influences do not earn too much love from me. It is hard to understand the lyrics for most of the song, although that aspect doesn’t detract from my enjoyment. The music video has the visuals to match that existential dread vibe, with empty roads and enigmatic monuments invoking the feeling of kenopsia. 

The music video provides important context since the song takes very long to build up. It’s still very hard to tell that it is a Carpenter Brut song because any hints of synth sounds don’t kick in until halfway through. But, when the synth starts to swell, it is distinctly Carpenter Brut with the chord progression and how the sounds are compressed. 

The departure of his traditional dark synthwave background that put him on the map is to be expected. Brut has previously said in a 2018 Classic Pop Mag interview that he is “not trying to reinvent anything. I’m just trying to make music I like.” Although it’s different, the new direction of breaking the mold of overdone ’80s nostalgia in synthwave is something to look forward to.