Children 18:3 is a 3 piece punk/rock group from Minnesota, who blend strains from bands like MXPX, Anberlin and the Foo Fighters to create a loose interpretation of the genre. Their third release “On the Run” shows off these influences and while their style can be jarring at times, the overall album is a decent effort.
“On the Run” opens with the anthemic “Moment to Moment”. All the traditional hallmarks of punk/rock are present and accounted for (palm muted introduction and dum-dum-ka drum beat), but the track finds solid footing despite these stereotypes. Vocalist David Hostetter carries the song with a tight vocal delivery reminiscent of MXPX and Aaron Gillespie (ex Underoath/solo) and the gang vocals in the chorus contribute to a solid opening number.
The driving feel caries through to the next track “Bandits”, and takes an unexpected turn into pop punk territory with “We’ll Never Say Goodbye”. This trend carries all throughout the album; you’ll consistently be surprised with unexpected rhythm, chord and feel changes. The best example of this is in the track “Why Are You Afraid of the Dark?” which shifts through major and minor keys culminating in a dance/disco style chorus. It’s relatively effective, but on occasion the transitions between styles can be jarring.
Lyrically, the songs are hit and miss. Some songs are much weaker than others, but are made up for with the variation in style. There are Christian lyrical references tucked away, written in a deliberately vague way that encourages listener interpretation. Production wise, the album is excellently produced and mixed, providing a great balance between raw and polished that compliments the songs well.
Overall, “On the Run” is like a TV variety show, including something for fans of the whole punk/rock spectrum. Picking and choosing your favourite songs rather than listening to the album as a whole will result in a far better listening experience. Those favourite songs will be very satisfying however, and are recommended for fans of the punk/rock genre.
By Kris Singh
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