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36 CRAZYFISTS

 

LANTERNS

 

Spinefarm Records

 

by: Cherri Bird

 

 

 

36 Crazyfists understand this phenomenon firsthand. In fact, the Anchorage, AK quartet—Brock Lindow [vocals], Steve Holt [guitar], Mick Whitney [bass], and Kyle Baltus [drums]—find catharsis within chaos on their seventh full-length album and second for Spinefarm, the aptly titled Lanterns.

 

Lanterns represent the light we all seek,” explains Brock. “These songs are all about struggling to locate it and trying to find the way to move forward and get past what has mentally hampered you in your life. Everyone deals with depression on some level. It’s a matter of how you’re going to get out of it, put one foot in front of the other, get up, and live in this dark spot. That encompasses the umbrella of the album. I can say I’m much stronger mentally than I was two years ago when we started this.

 

DEATH EATER -  Brock takes the vocals up to blistering decibels and with a pretty grit, he blends the chorus with all parts of the song. It’s like 3 Brocks are standing in a semi-circle around you pounding your ears with a melody, screams and growls that along with the sick breaks with guitars and drums only let you take a few breaths before the next wave starts.

 

WARS TO WALK AWAY FROM - immediate love of the bass that has a tinge of distortion which makes this a tad edgy that with the lyric and Brock’s devilish echoes makes this a perfect song to sing to yourself to remind you that it’s ok to walk away; from yourself or anything else that starts wars within. Love the change up in the cut time towards the end and the last 30 seconds totally brings the song full circle.

 

BETTER TO BURN - wow! The guitar effect at the beginning surprisingly melts perfectly into the melody that starts to churn this song like a thick cake batter. And as it comes out of the bowl and into the pan you can already anticipate how awesome it’s gonna be. I love this track because it’s emotionally charged and the structure of the song takes you on trip man!! Love!!

 

DAMAGED UNDER SUN - gimme that screaming guitar riff!! Yaus! Then add in the signature plunking of the bass and drums of 36 CRAZYFISTS, and you’ve got the beginnings of a badass tune. I love the way Brock’s vocal kinda exists separately from the rest of the song in the mix - it’s pretty haunting. I dig it! Again there’s a mix of vocal styles that is pretty killer and just puts the song that much

 

SEA AND SMOKE - ahhh...a little melodic ballad beginning that slowly turns up the heat in this track. I DIG the f’ing bass line...that shit is sexy AF!! Bringing the tempo up and down gives evidence to how it is to go through a situation or experience, and I love the 3:04 mark and the heaviness of the guitars - shit! I swear, it’s a wonder that anyone makes it out alive from the life experiences that we all go through. I love the testament inferred.

 

WHERE REVENGE ENDS - I immediately take a deep breath in at the start with the acoustic guitar and the title of the song. Seriously, goosebumps - it’s cathartic to hear someone reach this point in song - jesus. The tone and unique style of Brock’s ability to identify with his struggles or struggle. It’s also lovely to know that WHERE REVENGE ENDS is, in fact attainable...

 

SLEEPSICK - mother of metal! From the jump this brings it down to a low where you can hear the growls with your ear pressed to the ground, you can hear the vibrations from a mile away! It’s paramount to listen to the marriage of the vocal and the guitar - it’s goddamn genius. This song goes beyond adapting to modern metal, it is the moniker for what metal music should encompass or should strive to be. Nonconforming, raw, heavy, thick, and have at the core, a true calling to those that are reaching for similar vibrations. This song bends those comfortable barriers all while remaining congruent with the band’s style. I love it!

 

BANDAGE FOR PROMISE - dude!! This record showcases Brock’s amazing ability to switch it up like a pinch hitter to a Tee. His lows make your undercarriage giggle. I am impressed with this track because there’s a familiar cadence that I love when bands do - they take an experience that almost caused their demise and slap it to a melody that is almost happy or upbeat. It’s the ultimate parody of life set right to music and 36Crazyfists are masters at this!

 

LAYING HANDS - full-throttle double kick on the drums flicks my Bic and just like the flame sears my cigarette, the percussion on LAYING HANDS lights up the embers and warms the wax. I can totally appreciate the bass/drum work here and killer guitar riffs and little-distorted undertones here and there give this song

 

BELOW THE GRAVES - takes me back to throwing horns up to MOTORHEAD or W.A.S.P. - I know odd reference, hun? But listen to Brock’s voice in this one...it’s pure power shooting from his throat like the fire that Blackie shot out of his motorcycle mic stand...you know what I’m talking about? I love the groove it takes on towards the end. But watch out - Kyle will kick your ass around 2:40...god that cut time segment is ballz. I would love to witness this track live!

 

OLD GOLD - y’all, I’m completely serious when I say I haven’t heard strength in a battery of songs that I have heard thus far. OLD GOLD just anchors that truth for me. It’s slow, sultry, sexy, dirty, melodic, and leaves the listener with piecing together all the parts and interpreting them to their own life experiences or just the nomadic feeling that happens through this song - it just wanders all over your insides. The breaks go down smooth and then burn like a shot of whiskey poured over cola. Massive track!!

 

DARK CORNERS - whatever guitar tone or sound or effect this is at the intro is magnified at the chorus as it joins this mantra or chant. It will stir your bowels, I assure you. Lyrically, I’m drawn to the darkness that is in Brock’s voice and then the specs of hope amidst the pain. Sheesh, so beautifully done; the tempo is like honey rolling down a spoon left in the sink, it just keeps going, leaving the end result behind, and then it just stops. I really connect and identify with the feelings I get through listening to this track. Dang Gina!

 

My honest take on LANTERNS was mindblowing. Possibly for expecting something else and getting an altogether different vibe from the whole record or maybe it’s just because 36Crazyfists have reached that point where everyone is in symbiotic harmony. Maybe because I have a desire to achieve what is done on this record and so those similarities found their place.

 

I don’t really think it matters why - it just matters. It will matter to listeners that want to hear this band at their best (IMHO). And I’m not just talking musically. I’m talking personal best. What proves that this band has longevity, a sense in knowing where to write their music will result in a strong offering and the innate ability to melt the ice that often blocks us all from seeing life for what it really is. And what it is to you my Lovelies is your personal story.. It just so happens that 36CrazyfistsLANTERNS fits with that unique story perfectly.

 

Until Next Time - MRML