Collisions and Castaways
On fifth LP Collisions And Castaways, veteran Alaska metalcore outfit 36 Crazyfists continues to follow in the footsteps of their cold-weather brethren from the Swedish coast, alternating shredded-larynx shrieking with polished melody. Vocalist Brock Lindow adheres to this formula- screamed verse, crooned chorus- almost religiously, until he begins to resemble a one-man gangsta rap duo, serving as the honey-voiced mack daddy counterpart to his own gravelly badass.
It’s an approach to songwriting that calls a lot of attention to itself, to the point that Lindow tends to overshadow his bandmates. He’s lucky they don’t use this as an excuse to slack. Drummer Thomas Noonan, in particular, tosses off stuttering double-bass rolls with satisfying elan, and sounds better than he ever has doing it. Lindow’s hooks, though, are the star of the show, which is hard to complain about when, for example, they serve as sweet-and-low relief from the vicious Entombed-style death ‘n’ roll of “Anchors.”
On the other hand, "Caving In Spirals," as refined as it is, comes off like the proverbial cake made of frosting. Meanwhile, diehard metalheads who ran screaming during track 1 will be joined even by some emo-core fans when the band's California pop-punk influences show up, goth-tinged, in "Trenches" and first single "Reviver." However, the variety pack screaming of “The Deserter” redeems the less-aggro material neatly, and a more balanced rage-to-pop ratio combines agreeably with two of the album’s biggest choruses for a good deal of uptempo fun on “In The Midnights” and “Whitewater.” When 36 Crazyfists connect, they hit hard.
36 Crazyfists perform tonight (Wednesday, September 29) at the Scout Bar, 18307 Egret Bay Blvd. in Clear Lake. Straight Line Stitch, Taking Dawn, Cellcyst and Artifacts are also on the bill.