36 Crazyfists
The Tide and Its Takers


3.5
great

Review

by Gastón P. Ro'o USER (6 Reviews)
June 10th, 2008 | 43 replies | 37,059 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 36 Crazyfists are still a solid band

The Tide and its Takers (2008):

36 Crazyfists has remained as an underrated band, often mislabeled as a “generic metalcore” band, sadly eclipsed by more popular acts like Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying (Who definitely wear the “generic metalcore kings” title).

When they signed up to Roadrunner recors back in ’00, they had already released 2 EP’s an 1 full length, but the album that’s often credited as their debut is their “Bitterness the star,” which was released in 2002. Back then 36 CF had a STRONG nu-metal sound, with high pitched/emotional singing and emphasis on melody rather than heaviness (think about Glassjaw’s Everything You Wanted To Know…). Their sound has changed with each release, but somehow they’ve managed to make solid sounding records, with enough catchiness and creativity to undoubtedly hook the casual listener.

The Tide and its Takers is their first release in Ferret Music. This time they tried to do some sort of concept album. Instead of following a storyline, the album revolts around one subject, I guess it’s about being astray In the ocean, and all the emotional stages you go through.

The way this album sounds like is diverse enough to escape from the “generic metalcore” label. it’s sort of a mixture between post-hardcore, alternative metal, a bit of punk, a bit of metalcore, and even some nu-metal. They don’t abuse cliché elements like breakdowns, lifeless pseudo- technical riffs and the harsh verse/melodic chorus formula like most of the bands out there. They seem to follow the traditional “Intro/Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/Bridge/Chorus” song structure, but they have enough creativity to craft solid sounding songs while avoiding repetitiveness. If you analyze their verses, they don’t just repeat one riff over and over again, they often vary their riffs before entering next section to sound more interesting.

Their guitar work is far from being something stellar, or something unique, but it works perfectly thanks to the fact that the band doesn’t focus on showing their technical abilities. The drumming is nothing special as well, and the bass is unfortunately barely heard. The way the band sounds like altogether works perfectly, they often bring catchy rhythms with memorable riffs with a fair sense of melody. They have occasional breakdowns in a couple of songs, but they fit well.
What makes the band really shine is the vocalist Brock Lindow, who has really got an unique voice. He has a very powerful and high pitchced voice, sometimes a bit nasal, kind of Daryl Palumbo meets Dexter Holland. His screamed vocals are also kind of high-pitched and raspy, definitely an acquired taste. Instead of sticking to the formula of writing screamed verses and sung choruses, he mixes both his singing and screaming in a less predictable way. His voice really shines through this album.

Lyrically, this has been 36 CF’s best work, as I mentioned before, this is could be seen as a concept album. I´m not 100% what’s the story behind the concept, but it seems as if the whole album is written in metaphoric language. It talks about being on a ship, wandering astray in the ocean, and the obvious facts that affect you (distance, nostalgia, fear, insecurity, not being with your loved ones, etc). It seems to me that Brock Lindow is a very nostalgic person, judging his lyrical work in this and their previous releases. He also seems to be smart enough to write lyrics that avoid overused ideas frequently seen in metalcore/post-hardcore bands.

The album’s pace is constantly changing, it is well balanced between aggressive songs, energetic songs, mellow songs, and melodic songs. “The All Night Lights” is clearly the most metalcore influenced song in here, but it’s a powerful opener that shows 36 CF’s edgy side. “The Back Harlow Road” is probably the best song here, it’s a melodic song that summarizes what 36 CF does so damn well, and Lindow’s voice shines all the way through the song until he reaches a superb climax in the bridge. Another album highlight is “Waiting on a War,” which is another melodic song that has an epic feel, probably the best guitar work in the whole album. Just like RITF ended with acoustic “The City Ignites,” this one closes with the acoustic “The Tide and its Takers.” The title track is arguably the best acoustic 36 CF song.

So without a single doubt, this is a solid release and 36 CF are still really good at what they do. However, after listening to their previous releases, this one is nothing new, it doesn’t sound much different from their last albums. Overall the band sounds tighter, but they have lost some catchiness, which is probably why it didn't hook me up the first time I listened to it. If you listened to "Absent are the Saints" and labeled them "generic metalcore," well, the album sounds a lot different (objectivly speaking).

PROS:
-Brock Lindow (superb clean vocals)
-Not generic
-Solid instrumentation

Cons:
-The instrumentation brings nothing new to the table
-Brock Lindow (harsh vocals are not his strong side)
-Lyrics are OK, but seem a bit disorganized

Listen to:
"The Back Harlow Road"
"Waiting on a War"
"Vast and Vague"
"The All Night Lights"

3.8/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
cocoonedinmisery
June 10th 2008


3 Comments


Great review, though I really really think this is 36 CF's best album!

72haha72
June 10th 2008


436 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks! I still think A Snow Capped Romance is their best work, but all 36 CF albums are solid, in my opinion.

This is my first review in a while, constructive/destructive criticism is welcome

AtavanHalen
June 10th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a) Less telling us about the band and more about the actual record.
b) Grammar and punctuation are your friends.
c) Shy away from first person.
d) No mention of "Only A Year Or So..."? Best song on here.

72haha72
June 10th 2008


436 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ I'll avoid doing that in my next review, yeah I have some trouble with grammar and punctuation, English is not my first-born language and I don't get to practice it often

Only a Year or So.. sure is great, but it took me more than 1 listen to get used to it

Thanks for those observations


AtavanHalen
June 10th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Okay, my bad. I suggest running your next review by a fluent speaker of English just to make sure you get everything right. I'd be more than happy to help out.

Reeke
June 10th 2008


61 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

brocks scream changed soooo much on this album, its awful now

Still quite a good album, but falls behind "a snow capped romance" and "inside the flames".

BallsToTheWall
June 10th 2008


44294 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I loved Snowcapped Romance, I still do but they've gotten progressively worse over the years. The songs I heard from this album was enough for me to say fuck this band. ^^^ Agree Reeke, it's a shame, they should quit.

Digging: Tiamat - Clouds

Sethcanes
June 10th 2008


45 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

This album is awful, their previous ones are so much better,

SpinLightTwo
June 10th 2008


1041 Comments


I can see "The All Night Lights" being a guilty pleasure of mine.

renegadestrings
June 10th 2008


1442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i am trying very hard to enjoy this album. that alone speaks volumes about the music

CushMG15
June 10th 2008


1802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think this is a lot more interesting than RItF. Brock sounded pretty uninspired on that cd. I think everyone stepped up their game on this disc.

I was very pleased by this disc, especially after what I was expected after I heard Absent are the Saints.

Wizard
June 10th 2008


19383 Comments


One of the worst albums I've heard all year.

often mislabeled as a “generic metalcore” band

After giving this a listen, I can see why they are labelled this way. Snow Capped Romance and Bitterness the Star were really good records.

Review was ok. Needs some serious fixing in areas.

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

applesoup
June 11th 2008


36 Comments


I'm worried to listen to this record as it might put me off them.
I've heard a few songs but they didnt really catch my ear.

Somehow i dont believe this will be their best album but im willing to go check it out.



SpinLightTwo
June 11th 2008


1041 Comments


Though this will probably suck, The All Night Lights is still catchy as hell, and I enjoy it more than I probably should.

72haha72
June 11th 2008


436 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

don't listen to "We Gave it Hell" or "Absent are the Saints" I think those songs are the worst songs of the album, they are just bland.

I like this equally to RISF, BTS is slightly better, and ASCR is their best album.

ataraxia01
June 18th 2008


215 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Not a big fan of this album at all. Most of the songs sound too much the same to me. "Clear the Coast" is awesome though.

cleary21
June 25th 2008


671 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

idk this did not impress me all that much many of the songs sounded the same but what was repeated was at least decent, forgettable, but enjoyable

cleary21
June 25th 2008


671 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

idk this did not impress me all that much many of the songs sounded the same but what was repeated was at least decent, forgettable, but enjoyable

72haha72
June 26th 2008


436 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ You should listen to A Snow Capped Romance, that's where 36 CF REALLY shines. Superb album

Well, this album sounds kind of bland sometimes, but I still love the way 36 CF sounds altoghether.

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2008


7996 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't know why you don't like "We Gave It Hell" or "Absent are the Saints." Those two are up there as favorites on this cd. I really, really like "Tide and Its Takers" though, it makes me wish that they would try an acoustic album, because Brock's vocals are hypnotic on that song, same as "The City Ignites."



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