After 20 years as a band and 6 albums under their belt, tonight see’s the return of Alaskan metal mob 36 Crazyfists, who are out in the UK and across Europe in support of new album ‘Time and Trauma’.
But first, as openers SHVPES take to the stage, the lack of crowd is a little disheartening. The band themselves kick into first track ‘Preparing For The Worst’ with venom, whilst the few people in attendance stand awkwardly at the back and sides of the room. Luckily, as the set progresses more and more people filter in from the bar, to witness the metalcore five piece who very recently went through a name change (originally Cytota.) Towards the end of the set the gap between band and audience is finally bridged by vocalist Griffin Dickinson who, after numerous attempts to get everyone to move forward, finally decides a “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude will work best; jumping over the barrier to revel in the crowd. The band finish on recent single (and possible name sake?) ‘Shapes’. (3/5)
Next up are West Hollywood Heavy Metal quartet All Hail The Yeti, who, despite being their first time in the Uk, already have fans in the audience screaming back words of songs from their debut self titled album. The band use backing tracks and samples (not in an electronic way) to layer songs and create a story, such as in the haunting ‘After The Great Fire’. At this point the room is full and everyone is taking notice, as vocalist Connor Garritty stalks the length of the stage and bassist Nicholas Diltz uses his luscious locks to their full headbanging potential. Along with album tracks, like single ‘The Art Of Mourning’, we are treated to new songs off the highly anticipated follow up to 2012’s ‘All Hail The Yeti’. At the end of the set it’s clear that the band have made an impact, with their fanbase undoubtedly clocking up after each and every set they play if tonight is anything to go by.(3/5)
As 36 Crazyfists take to the stage the room seems to have shrunk to a third of it’s size, as both the floor and the balcony are full to the brim with diehard fans. They open with new song ‘Vanish’, which seems like a strange move, but soon kick into popular single‘At The End Of August’, which gives everyone in the room a chance to blow off some steam.
That’s the stand out thing tonight. Rather than rely too heavily on sharing new material, there is a perfect balance between old and new, airing choice cuts off each album shows off how this band have never made a bad record. The back to back airing of ‘I’ll Go Until My Heart Stops’ and ‘The Heart And The Shape’ whips the crowd into a frenzy, horns in the air and shouting back all the words. While new offering ‘Also Am I’ still receives a warm welcome.
Musically the band are on point (well, apart from the small guitar malfunction 30 seconds into new single ‘Swing The Noose’ – which we then found out wasn’t meant to be played anyway!) With new drummer Kyle Baltus playing songs which were recorded when he was still a child with passion, while Steve Holt (guitar malfunction aside) and bassist Mick Whitney hit all the right notes. Which leads us to arguably the reason 36 Crazyfists stand out and have managed to stay relevant for 20 plus years. Brock Lindow. Who’s voice is as unique and hard hitting as ever, in a world where vocalists are constantly “blowing” their voices it’s nice to see that Lindow has still got it.
Lindow’s interaction with the crowd is heartfelt, showing his and the bands gratitude between each song, humbled that people are still this eager after a five year wait between albums. They give the fans what they want in the shape of ‘Bloodwork’, which get’s the biggest reaction yet with the whole room bouncing.
After a short break 36 Crazyfists return for a two song encore, the former being popular ‘A Snow Capped Romance’ single ‘Destroy The Map’, which turns the whole middle of the floor into a moshpit. They finish on first single ‘Slit Wrist Theory’ to a horde of happy fans, 13 years after it’s release still managing to get every single person in the room shouting the hook “Lace me up, lace me up, I’m still looking for these angels in the snow” at the top of their lungs.(4/5)
Some may say that 6 albums in 20+ years isn’t very many, but tonight just goes to show that it isn’t about quantity, it’s about quality, and 36 Crazyfists are heaped in it.
Words and photos by Carrie-Anne Pollard (Me Vs The World! Photography)