36 Crazyfists have remained a constant for 21 years, defying genres, barriers and expectations at every turn. Demonstrating colossal maturity since their last studio foray 5 years ago, ‘Time And Trauma’ heralds the completion of their line-up’s turbulent years.
Storming the UK this month, they’re keen to show they’re back on track and banishing old sentiments with a new subdued approach. The inherent passion behind every note bursts through anguished vocals and grinding electrics set to the backdrop of searing drums. Equally dividing its attentions between rage and relief, ‘Time And Trauma’ investigates the most relatable facets of recovery.
Opening on guttural screams bridging the gap between Brock Lindow’s emotionally-charged cries in ‘Vanish (We All Disappear)’, the winding riff of ’11.24.11’ soon transpires toward the morose split of the emotional theme. The indomitable energy of ‘Lightless’ similarly collides with the weary ‘Translator’, exploring both extremes of the sentimental spectrum.
Keen to demonstrate Lindow’s undeniable vocal range, ‘Slivers’ showcases sassy defiant tones and The Used-esque wails, adorned by a subdued atmospheric backing. The towering choruses of ‘Also Am I’ and record highlight ‘Swing The Noose’ suggest a turn for the radio-friendly which surprisingly doesn’t break the atmosphere. However, the serene female backing of melodic closer ‘Marrow’ seems decidedly out of place in the grand scheme of their back catalogue.
“Deep in a river of bones”, 36 Crazyfists’ determination to break free from the aftertaste of 2010’s ‘Collisions and Castaways’ exudes through title theme ‘Time And Trauma’, demonstrating the band’s perfect execution of a foreboding ethos, complemented by a seductive and lethal electric lull. Their energetic brand of emo makes a triumphant return in ‘Swing The Noose’, adding familiar Nirvana undertones to a contagious anthem. While making amends with the devil, ‘Silencer’ brings new drummer Kyle Baltus’ crushing drums to the fore, establishing incredible dialogue with Steve Holt’s devastating riffs.
Flowing smoothly through subdued tones to contrasting gravelly growls, the emotionally-conflicted ‘Time And Trauma’ splits its devotions between reflective relief and ecstatic rage, artistically discussing the healing effect of time on trauma just as anticipated.
’Time And Trauma’ by 36 Crazyfists is released on 16th February on Spinefarm Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (AliZombie_)