Review Summary: 36 Crazyfists delivers one more energetic and well crafted album, but how many more can one stand before sensing that they have run out of innovative ideas?
36 Crazyfists has maintained a very unique vibe throughout the years. I really think that this is a great example of a band which has been underrated and under-marketed. With a mixture of hardcore, nu-metal, and even some punk elements, 36 Crazyfists achieves a similar sound through their various albums, not really perfecting the formula, but becoming more innovative in the content of their songs.
Not far from the style of contemporary and better known acts Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying, every album 36 Crazyfists has released has been great, and The Tide and Its Takers is no exception.
Very energetic and supercharged with good riffs, powerful drum work, and excellent vocals, The Tide and Its Takers reaches its climax on the very first track. The All Night Lights can be heard over and over again without losing its magic. We Gave It Hell, first single off The Tide and Its Takers, is an amusing song but surely not the best the album has to offer. It is merely energetic enough to be easily recognizable, and entertain a decent video.
The Tide and Its Takers does not depart from 36 Crazyfists' usual style, and does not drop the ball either. The change from their Roadrunner era into Ferret Music seems to allow them enough freedom and motivation to still come up with very good material, and competitive production. Overall, the sound of the album is impeccable. Vocalist Brock Lindow’s work is the most important improvement within this album in terms of both lyrics and execution. Keeping true to his already established style, he includes shriek-like screams and emotional lines and develops a well defined concept lyrically, portraying scenes of losing oneself out of sight, using the ocean as a constant analogy. Still, catchy hooks are not as much part of this concept as they used to be on earlier albums, such as A Snow Capped Romance, and anthemic songs like Bloodwork.
Some of my favorite cuts from The Tide and Its Takers are The Back Harlow Road (fantastic pre-chorus, really gets me going), and Waiting on a War, although Clear the Coast and Absent are the Saints (brutal break before the last chorus) are also highlights.
The final part of the album raises its intensity noticeably. A review of this album would not be complete without mentioning the importance of its three most wicked songs. Vast and Vague, based on very interesting drum work, brutal vocals and very dynamic guitar riffs, is a definite 36 Crazyfists piece, reminiscent of their earlier work. Then come two songs which bring the intensity of the album to closure. When Distance is the Closest Reminder, an energetic cut, with an especially noticeable punk element at its intro, and Northern November, which explores rhythmic ideas which seem risky, but work out perfectly fine as an element of innovation within the album. Finally, The Tide and Its Takers, the song, a mellow and well crafted acoustic ballad, puts the listener to sleep with what could be arguably considered 36 Crazyfists’ best soft song. Growing slowly from an acoustic only intro, the song explodes into a climax of drums, a simple acoustic riff, and high-pitched vocals, and fades into a last mysterious sound which seems to be a guitar being put down, and somebody leaving the room.
The Tide and its Takers is not my favorite 36 Crazyfists album, but it manages to get the job done. This is another piece of evidence that this band has been underrated, and deserves much more than it has gotten. Still, The Tide and Its Takers conveys a message of repetition which makes me doubt if 36 Crazyfists can actually put out another album without changing the style dramatically, and finding something new to offer.