Nostalgia for the good old days’ post-hardcore of the 1990s and the early aughts is at an all-time high in 2017. However, few bands made the impact on the scene the way that 36 Crazyfists did, coming on in the middle of that golden decade and reigning hard for years over several acclaimed, and a few other solid releases. Unlike some of their peers, they never really broken up, as much as the hype died down and they settled into veteran band status. Except for a brief lag before their last album, Time and Trauma (Spinefarm) ,they have been consistent,and always supported by their die-hard fan base. New album Lanterns (also Spinefarm) shows these guys are not slipping.
Lead track ‘Death Eater’ is an out-and-out banger; a riff-party full of rage to get you amped up. Vocalist Brock Lindow straddles the line between sick gutturals and his more soulful, melodic hardcore vocals. Co-founding guitarist Steve Holt still brings the pain when he needs to. A great start and a track sure to please all the pit ninjas at their shows. ‘Wars To Walk Away From’ is more to the center of a big modern rock/punk rock track, with Lindow showcasing his dusky baritone range, not unlike Marilyn Manson’s last album. The track carries the central theme of the album lyrically which seems to be some personal trials, lessons learne and coming out the other side.
‘Better To Burn’ and ‘Damaged Under Sun’ could have been found on early days 36CF releases. Just good ol’ heartfelt post-hardcore with a touch of emo sensibility for the fans. Good tracks, both of them. ‘Sea and Smoke’ is more of a mid-tempo rock jam. It’s decent, but there’s nothing extra special about it.
‘Where Revenge Ends’ is a mellow step-down, almost in the vein of Alice In Chains in unplugged mode or Zakk Wylde’s acoustic albums. Brock has a solid, emotive singing voice, which helps. Not the first track the band has ever tried like this, but this one is filler.
The second half of the album bounces back with a few ragers like the ball crushing ‘Sleepsick’, the fierce ‘Laying Hands’, and the driving power of ‘Below The Graves’. Although I might have liked it if most of the album was in this vein, that really isn’t in the make up of this band at this point. They surely get an “A” for effort in the attempt to craft a diverse and deep album where no two tracks are the same.
A nice solid effort by a beloved band. Too bad their recent cover of ‘We Die Young’ by Alice In Chains, couldn’t be included here too.