36 Crazyfists

Rest Inside the Flames

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The third album by Oregon (by way of Anchorage, Alaska) post-hardcore outfit 36 Crazy Fists expands on the somewhat schematic metalcore-by-numbers sound of their earlier albums. Expanding the vocal palette by including a larger number of clean vocals in counterpoint to lead singer Brock Lindow's Cookie Monsterisms and considerably increasing the melodic content of the songs sound at first like they might be sops to a wider audience. However, listening to Rest Inside the Flames in the context of the band's two earlier albums, it seems more likely that this widescreen take on post-hardcore is less a sellout move than the work of a band attempting to move out of a stylistic rut. This, of course, is an admirable goal, and for the most part, 36 Crazy Fists do a solid job of it. Album highlights like the epic "The Great Descent" and "Felt Through a Phone Line" are among the band's strongest songs, but it's the unexpected acoustic coda, "The City Ignites," that's the most surprising. A reworking of "Midnight Swim" from earlier in the album, the song reveals a gentler vocal side to Lindow but retains the intensity of the rest of the album in a different musical format.

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