Album Review :
Children 18:3 - Rain's a Comin'

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Band: Children 18:3
Album: “Rains a Comin'”
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

Tracklisting:
1. Rain’s a Comin’
2. Cover Your Eyes
3. The Cruel One
4.  Whispering
5. Hey Driftwood (Tides)
6. Oh Bravo
7. Oh Honestly
8. Wonder I
9. Stronger
10. Jack o’ Lantern Dreams
11. Lost so Long
12. The Last Laugh

Children 18:3 are one of those bands that are tough to peg into a particular genre. To be descriptive of this band’s style, is a difficult task at that. Basically, they’re a rock n’ roll band with punk rock tendencies.

“Rain’s a Comin” is a cohesive, solid set of songs intended to provide the listener with an explosive listening experience from start to finish. In what is usually a predictable genre, Children 18:3 hold no punches and blast back with an intensity not found in other like minded bands. Where “Self Titled” went, “Rains a Comin'” goes that much farther in keeping this band’s originality alive and flowing. With that said, here is my review.

The album starts off with the intro track “Rain’s a Comin” which gives you a taste of what’s to come on the rest of the album. It’s raw and in your face.

The driving “Cover Your Eyes” begins the album with it’s abrasive yet solid sing a long chorus. The punk influence shines through on this track.

“The Cruel One” is up next and it’s another explosive, rough and tough song about Cruella De Ville from 101 Dalmations. The backup vocals from Lee Marie on the chorus, adds the perfect touch.
“Whispering” is an instrumental track and is the 4th track on the album. It sort of reminds me of what would be the perfect theme song for a new Western film where the characters face a duel in the middle of a dusty street. Yeah.

“Hey Driftwood (Tides)” is up next. Lee Marie is solid on her backup vocals and it adds a really nice touch to the song.

“Oh Bravo” is the 6th song on the album and features Lee Marie up front and center.  “Oh bravo, you’re the best, there’s no one else”.  I love the guitar solo on this song. I love guitar solos period, bring em on!

“Oh Honestly”  is quite simply the best song this band ever wrote and is the perfect addition to a long, hot, summer day at the beach (Or lake for you land locked people). It’s a beautiful song and Lee Marie singing back up is along with the acoustic guitars is a nice touch. This is a song I could see on the radio. Songs like this on the album show listeners the progression this band has a knack for. There is nothing more original than “Oh Honestly”.

“Wonder I” is up next and it kind of reminds me of Weezer for some reason. It’s a slow builder and features Lee Marie again on the Chorus. I love these types of songs.

“Stronger” is another rager, call the cops, this party is out of control. In your face and ready to start some trouble. Watch out for this bad boy.

“Jack  o’ Lantern Dreams” is up next and reminds me of Weezer again for some odd reason. I know they are two completely different bands but it’s something about the guitars that brings on that comparison. This is still more “Punk Rock” than Weezer so don’t get me wrong. Perfect song for….Halloween? Maybe.

“Lost So Long” wraps up this album with its slow burning build ups and sing a long choruses. Very Rock n’ Roll.

I won’t speak of the last track because it is just an outro and really kind of pointless. I understand the intent of the band to close the album with an “outro” but I usually just skip those. I don’t have the patience. It would probably bring a smile to my grandparent’s face if I played it for them. Okay.

“Rains’ a Comin” is an effort that is tough to describe in words, you just have to listen to it from start to finish and generate your own opinions based off the tracks. To be completely honest, I was let down by this album the first two listens through it. I was expecting more punk rock songs like what was found on “Self Titled” two years ago. I was also expecting more ska upbeats like what was on their first T&N release (“Even Sleeping”). The ska beats are all but dead on this album. Maybe on future releases, they could bring some of that flavor back. Before you start hating on me for bringing up the dirty word “Ska” realize that the style is being played along with punk rock in big numbers within the general market, you just have to do some digging. The bands Left Alone (Hellcat Records), Less Than Jake (Sleep it Off Records)  and We Are the Union (Paper + Plastik) are perfect examples of bands mixing ska with punk rock. Heck, even Rancid are still doing it.  It can be done but for some reason people in the “Christian” industry are more content at following trends, wearing vnecks, and doing the emo swoop haircut that they neglect being original. That’s enough of my rant though, I could go on for ages about the lack of originality in the Christian market but I’ll keep my opinions to myself. Lucky for us, we have bands like Children 18:3 bringing their own flavor of originality and staying ahead of the game. I believe without a doubt that Children 18:3 are Tooth & Nail’s best kept secret and their most promising new(er) band. So say they are underrated is an understatement at best. So where was I? Yeah, um, after listening to this album a few more times, I am proven wrong by my initial assessment that this album is “Not as good” as their debut. It is as good but in different ways. Where one album was all punk rock with flashy sing a longs and raging guitar lines, this one is all about progression and mixing up genres enough that they avoid the complete “punk rock” tag. I love Children 18:3 and I appreciate their honesty working in this often cluttered, cookie cutter,  bloated, “scene”.  

Overall: Rain’s a Comin’ is a solid sophomore effort and avoids the “Slump” tag based solely on the track “Oh Honestly” alone. lol. Well not really, but can’t you tell what a fan of that song I really am? Heck yeah! If you’re into catchy sing a long tunes intended for summer drives and days at the beach, look no further than “Rains a Comin” and prepare to start your summer off with a bang.  This band is hard to peg stylistically (Like said above) and to compare them to other like minded bands is near impossible. They set the standard and for that, should be commended. After a few more listens, it’s quite clear that this clever band is quickly rising to the top of my favorites list. Just give this album time to sink in and give it a few more spins before you can fully appreciate it as a whole.

[Note to readers: Lyrics were not provided to me. Like with any “Download/Stream” I base my opinion entirely off what I hear through my stereo speakers. I am too lazy to go searching for this album in stores and I haven’t ordered online in awhile so you’ll have to bear with  me on my lack of descriptive wording. Lyrics and the lack there of, should not prevent you from fully enjoying this incredible effort]

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