Thousand Foot Krutch, being a Christian rock band, only slowly became a mainstream band, and as such is only starting to become known in most circles. The band achieved a lot of success on the Christian rock charts, and with their breakout single "Rawkfist", they broke into the mainstream charts, reaching #28 with that single in 2004.
After their first two releases, "That's What People Do" and "Set It Off", which were both heavily focused on Trevor McNevan's rapping skills and were realeased independently, the band signed with Tooth and Nail to produce this album. Truly this CD was a major break away from the rap-intense lyrics of "Set It Off", pushing more into some foot-tapping guitar and some actual singing as opposed to rapping, although on the whole, nothing really impressive in the instrumental domain.
What makes this Cd really unique is that it incorporates different genres, including Rap, Hip-Hop, Christian, and just plain Rock, so that it is hard to define exactly what it is that you're listening to.
Track by Track Overview:
1) Phenomenon: The title track. A simple guitar riff, over which Trevor raps but not as fast-paced as he is prone to. Then comes the chorus, where you really just start to bang your head with the more pounding guitar and drums. In the next verse, there's some pretty corny lyrics, like "don't let these spiders, crawl up beside us, they want to bite us, inject the virus", which kind of take away from the song because you start wishing he'll stop rhyming with "us" like that. But again, the chorus is great. The third verse has some different sounding guitar, but much better lyrics than the other verses. I like listening to Trevor get really excited as they move into the last chorus. The end of the song just repeats the last line of the chorus a couple times. 3/5
2) Step to Me: After a pretty sweet kind-of call-respond guitar intro, the bassist Joel Bruyere just gets to do his thing during the verse, which is not disappointing at all. Then the intro again the pre-verse, leading up to a chorus that I just listen to over and over again, with lyrics like "I, can't count the times I've tried, stand alone just to lift you high". Some pretty obvious Christian lyrics but you don't have to interpret it that way. Then the second verse talks about not giving into temptation, but once again you don't have to look at it that way. The third really slows up, with some odd kind of effects, but still about standing for what you believe in. The outro, which is the pre-verse again, is just spectualrly gripping with the powerful lyrics "Haunt me, if you want me, but I'll warn you, If you ever step to me again, you try to control me, but you can't hold me, you don't own me, if you ever step to me". 5/5
3) Last Words: Not anything special in the intro, but again Joel gets to do his thing in the verse, with some lyrics that are more sung this time. The chorus is very moving, saying "These are the last words, I'm ever gonna get to say to you
When everything falls away from you, Take these words, And know the world is not worth leaving". But my favorite part of the song is the third verse, which goes much slower and then builds up again, it provides me with one of my favorite verses of all time: "And if I was you, I'd get on my knees and pray, and thank God in the morning for another day". 5/5
4) This is a Call: The most emotional song on the album, it could almost make you you tear up a little. Less rock emphasis than the rest of the songs on the CD, it's just a smooth-flowing track that tells the story of 2 kids and the hard times they're having. It really kindof puts your problems in perspective as you empathize, and truly just makes me want to reach out to God. The thirs verse is especially powerful, kindof like a prayer to Jesus, a call, saying "Well if you're real then save me Jesus, cause I've been here for far too long. I wasn't meant, to feel alone." It's also cool how through the song, they start from a girl's perspective, then a boy's perspective, then finally the singer's perspective, and when it gets to "I'm calling out to you", you truly are calling out. This song is my favorite on the CD. 5/5
5) Rawkfist: This is the first song I ever heard by TFK, but I don't really like it as much now as I did the first time I heard it. Trevor gets back to what it really likes to do, rapping up the verses. It really does just make you put your fist in the air, or at least start bobbing your head. In my opinion, the chorus is less than great, considering I have no idea where it comes from in relation with the song. So aside from "Throw up your rawkfist, if you're feeling it when I drop this", this song doesn't really do much for me in the long-term. 4/5
6) Faith, Love and Happiness: I love the guitar in the intro of this song. The rapping in the verses is decent, but again not hardcore rapping like off of "Supafly" and the like. The chorus is ok, but really doesn't grab as much as other choruses on the CD. The third verse would be sensational if they didn't basically repeat the same thing twice. Outro= intro, but it still is good guitar so its all right. 4/5
7) I Climb: This song goes straight into the verse, which Trevor sings. I really don't get into the song until the chorus, which really has some emotional lyrics that just stream into my head and take control of me. He sings "Don't want you to be, anything at all, I just want you to say love me I don't care just stop live like this". The second verse is pretty much the same as the first. The third verse does have some good lyrics, which turn out to be about meeting Jesus. But my favorite part of the song is the outro, which calls out "I'll shout from the top of the rooftop singing, I'm not afraid of the bed I lay in. Listen to the sound of the voices ringing, I can't deny it, no more silence". 5/5
8) Quicken: After a powerful guitar intro, the verse is again just Joel on the bass. But then the guitars come crashing back in fro the pre-chorus and get you jumping and excited for the chorus which builds on that momentum. The third verse, as usual is where TFK reveals some of their Christian orientation, singing about coming and kneeling before God. And that's what really sorta defines them for me, because they're not afraid to show they're Christian, they'll sing Christian lyrics without fear of mainstream rejection. And it's usually what helps me connect in deeper ways with their music. 5/5
9) New Design: Straight into the verse, with some pretty nice palm-muting guitar going on. Then the chorus has the more powerful guitars, talking about being alone, but unfortunately they repeat it at this early stage when I'm ready for another verse instead. The third verse does some really cool stuff on guitar, and as a guitarist that really gets me excited, and Trevor does some of his best rapping on the CD. The outro is really quick and leaves me wanting more, which I guess is what they want. 5/5
10) Bounce: This is one of those song that TFK likes to do about their own music, telling you how much they rock, and telling you what to do in reaction to that. The Chorus straightforward explains that: "Bounce, show me what it's all about, don't stand just bounce, cause we're takin over now. It's TFK, we rock the party, and keep the party rockin in an old school way". The verses have some good rapping although a little subpar lyrics-wise. They tone down the guitar to start the third verse, which really sets you up for when in comes back full force. Although this song is a little slower than most I've bounced to, it does get people into the air anyways. 4/5
11) Ordinary: The power guitar pre-verse, fast-paced rapping from Trevor, combined with a powerful chorus get this song off so fast that they're done with 2 verses and choruses after 1:25. Then they slow it down quite a bit, and Trevor just raps some more. Then the pre-chorus and the last chorus are just phenomenal, slowly building up withe plam-mute and then unleashing:
"One! You can't make me feel this way, Two! You can't make me run away
Can't understand my chemistry, Laugh if that makes me ordinary
You could never stop this feelin' I've got inside of me
And you could never fill these shoes, 'Cause I refuse to lose
I'm just ordinary me", and so on, closing with the fast-paced guitar.
This song is far more than ordinary. 5/5
12) Break the Silence: A lot of bands don't have much to offer near the dn of their CDs, but this is not the case here. This song packs just as much energy as any of the others. The verses are sung rather than rapped, with louder guitars than in other songs. The chorus isn't as great as some of the other songs. The third verse has some great lyrics, as Trevor sings "I'm slippin away, everytime I try, to be more like you". But my favorite part of the song is the outro, wher Trevor shows more of his vocal range repeating "Let's get it on and on and on, if you feel it coming on and on and on, if your real then come along, along, along, if you feel the song come on bring it on, bring it on" and ending just with that invitation to bring it on. 4/5
Overall, this is one of my favorite CDs of all time, and from the first song to the last song, it' something I can listen to over and over and over again without getting tired of it. I give it a 5/5, and highly recommend it for anybody.