Artist: Thousand Foot Krutch
Title: The End Is Where We Begin
Label: TFK Music
After another successful outing with side band FM Static, modern rockers Thousand Foot Krutch return with sixth studio album The End Is Where We Begin, funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign and released independently.
While FM Static was an outlet for lead singer/songwriter Trevor McNevan and drummer Steve Augustine’s love of pop hooks, The End Is Where We Begin is all rock, a fact that should be good news to fans of the propulsive, X Games soundtrack-type songs these Canadian rockers have become known for. Except for a few acoustic diversions, these are heavy-hitting, stadium-sized tunes, feisty and inventive.
But underneath all the sound and fury, Thousand Foot Krutch remains a deliberately genre-fusing act that succeeds both on the strength of McNevan’s emotive vocals and articulate lyrics, and the band’s ability to play chameleon and synthesize a half dozen sub-genres into something fresh and personal. When the listener expects the band to zig, they zag, making for an impressive collection of songs. Album opener “We Are” is a straight-ahead modern rock call-to-arms featuring a thundering wall of guitars, as McNevan sings, “We are the ones, we are the guns and we will run, we are the voice of a song unsung.” The next track, lead single “Light Up the Sky,” finds McNevan rapping over wah-pedal guitar before a soaring vocal takes over on the chorus, which is a spin on Jimi Hendrix’s famous, “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” line. “Courtesy Call” is another impressive hybrid: a hip-hop tune dipped in modern rock lava, while “War of Change” opens with ringing, reverb guitars—think U2’s Edge—then shifts into double-time for a Beastie Boys-style rap. “Be Somebody,” is a sensitive, acoustic ballad that gives way to soaring anthemic guitars.
This unexpected synthesis of diverse styles is perhaps the key ingredient to Thousand Foot Krutch’s appeal. Also appealing is the album’s thematic unity, articulated in the “War of Change” lyric, “It’s just about to break, it’s more than I can take, everything’s about to change.” While there’s always a simmering urgency to albums like these, the album’s high level of craftsmanship—call it street cred, if you like—makes this sentiment feel like more than lip service. Thousand Foot Krutch has proven it has the chops to pull off just such a momentum-shifting call to action.