It’s been a long journey for 36 Crazyfists to reach this point in their careers. They’ve overcome the tragic loss of their bassist, have relocated from Alaska to Oregon and changed records labels twice. Through it all they’ve always remained faithful to their bass-heavy aggressively original sound and retained a determination to be heard by as many fans as is humanly possible by touring endlessly. ‘The Tide And Its Takers’ is the metal core outfit’s fifth full-length album and sees guitarist Steve Holt moving into the producer’s chair with Andy Sneap, continuing his mixing duties, by his side.
From the off the album bristles with an urgency that dominates. ’We Gave It Hell’, the forthcoming single, sears Brock Lindow’s scorched vocals onto a steady melodic bass groove. It has a sugar-sweet chorus lick that sits happily within the menace around it. The slow melodic beginnings of ‘The Back Harlow Road’ introduces a far more melodic way of thinking that throws the concrete breakdown slams into a whole new light.
Experimentation in a genre where the line between stunning and stricken can be so fine can be dangerous, but 36 Crazyfists are certainly closer to the former with the fine-tuning they‘ve done. At times they overdo the sweet talk as with the simpering ‘Waiting On A War’ finding itself painfully weak-sounding following the beefed-up low-end guts of ‘Clear The Coast’ (featuring Adam Jackson from Twelve Tribes). They score huge points in riposte with the pummelling intensity of ‘Absent Are The Saints’, a feast of gunshot drums and frazzled guitar riffs, and ’When Distance Is The Closest Reminder’ which rumbles along at a blistering pace when it‘s not dropping off into a smooth wash or a brick wall breakdown.
Sure, with the band trying out new vocal harmonies and supplementing them with melodic twiddling it will probably have their more hardcore fans grabbing their noses and holding it at arms-length. For those not wearing rose-tinted spectacles prepare to be battered remorselessly by an album that will kick you senseless, give you a big cuddle, then wade in again.