For Fans Of
‘Monument’, the third full length album from Melbourne three-piece Children Collide sounds like a band continuing their progression from the louder guitar-based rock of their debut ‘The Long Now’, through some of the more laid back moments from follow-up ‘Theory Of Everything’. While the volume is still there, it’s not in your face the whole time, giving the listener a chance to breathe and take in the aural pleasures within.
Opening track ‘The Flat Earth’ builds slowly from Heath Crawley’s repetitive bass riff and Ryan Caesar’s searching beats, as John Mackay builds an atmospheric swell behind them. It provides the feel of actually travelling along a flat desert. Mackay’s solo adds to the spaciousness of the track, layering above the aura created rather than being showy for the sake of it. Lead single ‘Sword To A Gunfight’ follows in the same vein, with Mackay’s guitar work again providing more of a sonic landscape that being a riff fest.
The band take us on a trip back to ‘Madchester’ with tracks ‘Black Lemon’ and ‘Praying For Sunshine’, the latter sounding much like a track that would have fitted in an early Stone Roses setlist with its John Squire-esque guitar line and accompanying Reni-like hi-hat use. Even the line “it was the prefix to ecstasy” could be taken as a nod to the rave culture that arose in 90’s England.
The references to the past continue on ‘Prussian Blue’ (no spoiler here – check it out for yourself), a track more like those that of which CC fans will be familiar – faster beat, louder guitars, punchier vocal line – while still continuing the mature progression of the album as a whole. ‘My Heart Came Alive’ uses a Peter Hook-like lead bass line, reminiscent of CC’s earlier New Order/early Cure-influenced tracks.
‘The Mausoleum’ continues to highlight the maturity of the band, demonstrating a better ability to utilise the recording studio that to simply write upbeat rockers that their live audience crave. ‘Summer Assassin’ begins like something that wouldn’t be out of place on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Of the remaining tracks, the major let down is ‘Sphere Of Influence’ – not because it’s a bad track, but because it’s not long enough! It has the beginnings of something that could have been better, and leaves the listener wanting more. Maybe that’s the idea.
Children Collide may never be the same again. With the departure of drummer Caesar from the band this year, it will be interesting to see whether this changes the sound that Crawley and Mackay produce in the future. Did the friction enable them to produce such a cohesive album? For their sake, hopefully not, as it would be a shame if a more stable environment was unable to reach these high standards again.
1. The Flat Earth
2. Sword To A Gunfight
4. Black Lemon
5. Praying For Sunshine
6. Prussian Blue
7. My Heart Came Alive
8. The Mausoleum
9. Summer Assassin
10. Sphere Of Influence
11. Smooth Gown
12. Tired Eyes
13. Terrible Lizard (Bonus track)