It's no secret that I've been looking forward to this CD for quite a while (basically since 2006, when they shockingly made my 8th favorite album of the year). I eagerly listened to the new versions of 'LCM' and 'You Know We're All So Fond of Dying', and liked what I was hearing, but I already knew that these were good songs, and while Songs of Desperation was good, it was pretty front-loaded, and my favorite 3 songs off of the CD were coming back. I began to worry that the band had already run out of gas.
Having been familiar with a bit of their earlier work, it's no shock that the riffs are pummeling, or that the instruments are all played fantastically. It does, however, come as a pleasant surprise how tuneful the album is. As I said last month, they clean up nicely. David actually has a pretty decent voice when he puts his mind to it, and the male/female vocal play between him and LeeMarie is done as well as any act I can remember. It never feels like a gimmick, and they both really stepped up their game for these recordings.
The mish-mash of genres (including garage rock, punk, straight up rock, and even ska) never comes across as forced, and there really aren't any weak tracks. If this sounds a touch fanboyish, keep in mind that 3 years ago, I disliked this band enough to sell an old EP I had bought to my brother. They've come a long way as songwriters since then, and it really shows here.
Children 18:3 have put together one of the most consistantly engaging CDs in recent memory. It's not often that a CD like this comes along. Check into this album immediately. You won't regret it.
Children 18:3 - LCM (mp3)
Children 18:3 - You Know We're All So Fond of Dying (mp3)
Children 18:3 - Even Sleeping