Album Review: 36 Crazyfists – Collisions And Castaways

Alaskan natives 36 Crazyfists are back with their fifth studio offering, ‘Collisions And Castaways’ and after 16 years, albeit staying under the radar as frontman Brock Lindow states, the band have always been making an impact with every album they release.

The last offering from 36 Crazyfists came in 2008, ‘The Tide And Its Takers’, and although being the first album in the bands history to break into the Billboard 200 chart, it was certainly not their best work. The album did shine in some areas but as a whole it was never the album we expected when we listened to their back catalogue. Two years later here we are with ‘Collisions And Castaways’, an album about life, about trying to be the best human being you can be while stop making mistakes and these themes show off in the band’s music with the passion that flows from their performance.

“It’s a heavy record with some big choruses” Lindow states and he doesn’t kid you, after an instrumental start to ‘In The Midnights’, the albums opening song, which lasts roughly one and a half minute, you are introduced to pounding double bass, heavy guitar hooks and simply another twenty five seconds later Lindow is destroying you with his screaming vocals before kicking into his distinctive clean vocal choruses. This song alone, for newcomers or past fans will show you who 36 Crazyfists are and what this album is bringing to the table.

36 Crazyfists Collisions And Castaways ArtworkWhile ‘Whitewater’, a song likely many will have already heard, follows perfectly on from ‘In The Midnights’, ‘Mercy And Grace’ has the band taking their foot off the pedal, only slightly, focussing on cleaner vocals before kicking into gear and showcasing their metalcore soul.

After the heavy ‘Death Renames The Light’ comes my favourite ‘Anchors’. Both songs take inspiration from the personal life of Brock Lindow, which address some personal issues that he “may have swept under the rug” but he uses these songs to truly get those issues off his chest. ‘Anchors’ is full of fierce, dark, pounding, ball crushing and spine bending power; it never lets you off the leash.

The instrumental ‘Long Road To The Late Nights’ kicks in the change of tempo to the album as the band tone it down when they move into ‘Trenches’. Although still heavy, it doesn’t have that same grab as those songs prior to it. The tempo and feel to the album starts to fade as we move onto ‘Reviver’ and the much slower ‘Caving In Spirals’ but as the tempo comes down, the band open up and showcase the layers that make them who they are.

Though 36 Crazyfists don’t disappoint, after the welcoming ‘Caving In Spirals’, ‘The Deserter’ comes like a bat out of hell with one of their most powerful performances to date.

The album is brought to an end by ‘Waterhaul II’, the sequel to ‘Waterhaul’ which brought the end of their 2004 album ‘A Snow Capped Romance’. ‘Waterhaul II’ is a fitting end to the album which shows the colours from both ends of the spectrum with the bands performance bringing an atmospheric journey through the bands instrumental work and the power through the heavy and clean vocal performance.

‘Collisions And Castaways’ doesn’t break the mould for 36 Crazyfists, in fact it follows what you could say is the blue print they have set around all of their albums but this blue print has worked for them time and time again so why not continue it?

With the statements made by Brock regarding the lyrical themes on this album, mix in the sound, ‘Collisions And Castaways’ comes across with the passion and emotion you would expect while showcasing a band who has matured and improved from ‘The Tide And Its Takers.’

‘Collisions And Castaways’ is much like a game of football in that the album comes in two halves. The first half of this album is full of attacking; brutal, heavy, in your face looking to make that early impact whereas the second half of the album is much more defensive. They bring down the tempo and let you get closer to them before a last burst of adrenaline kicks in and they bring the album to a successful finale.

Brock mentions how the band has always remained just under the radar and how they have always had their own little personal successes but after 16 years of creating music, ‘Collisions And Castaways’ could be the album which sets a new chapter in their career if they take control, lift themselves up and show the public they are still a force to reckoned with.

Rating – 8


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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

One Response to “Album Review: 36 Crazyfists – Collisions And Castaways”

  1. 36CF kicks ass!