In a way, the career of 36 Crazyfists mirrors rock bands of the early to mid-'70s, when many artists were allowed a window of several albums to steadily build a following and establish themselves (as compared to the early 21st century, where you're expected to score a chart-topper right off the bat -- or else, bye-bye). With their last album being 36 Crazyfists' biggest chart success yet (2008's The Tide and Its Takers), it appears as though its follow-up, 2010's Collisions and Castaways, should be the album that serves as their long-awaited breakthrough. And if they do breakthrough, it will not be because they changed or softened their sound in hopes of mass acceptance, as 36 Crazyfists still specialize in hard-hitting metal, with vocals that alternate between hardcore-like screaming (usually the verses) and more melodic singing (usually the choruses). In other words, Collisions and Castaways is exactly what you'd expect from a new 36 Crazyfists release. Kicking things off is "In the Midnights," which features an acoustic guitar interlude that eventually shape-shifts into multiple overdubbed electric guitars and then rapid-fire metal (which brings to mind the same formula that Metallica made popular -- specifically, "Battery" from Master of Puppets). Elsewhere, there's plenty of the aforementioned "heavy verse/melodic chorus" setup, particularly "Whitewater" and "Anchors," while they do mix things up a bit on "Reviver" and "Caving in Spirals," two tracks that focus more on the melodic side of things. In an age when it seems like more and more bands fall by the wayside after only and album or two, 36 Crazyfists are certainly one of metal's most reliable workhorses, as evidenced throughout Collisions and Castaways.
Collisions and Castaways Review
by Greg Prato