Thousand Foot Krutch, The Art of Breaking

The Art of Breaking
The Art of Breaking

Album Review: Thousand Foot Krutch, The Art of Breaking


Listening to The Art of Breaking makes me wonder how Thousand Foot Krutch ever got to where they are. After wallowing around southern Ontario’s indie community for the better part of a decade, the God-rockers hit it big with 2003’s Phenomenon. Okay, they didn’t really hit it big—the album just did much better than anyone could have expected. But that was all it took to convince EMI to pick up the band from their subsidiary, Tooth and Nail. Now they have a shiny new contract, a superstar producer—Arnold Lanni of Our Lady Peace fame—and a horde of new converts. So how are these Jesus freaks spending their 15 minutes?

Judging by this disc: in the studio. Their desire to reach out to a nation of Linkin Park fans has led them to polish their crunchy guitars into smooth nu-metal that edits well in audio/MIDI recording program Pro Tools. Vocalist Trevor McNevan has ditched the rap-rock style from 1997’s Set It Off in favour of Metallica yells and snarls. Also phased out from Set It Off are the funk jams and tongue-in-cheek EMF covers.

Earlier I wondered why TFK had gotten to where they are because it seems like every shimmery computer effect and angry growl is used to mask their lack of substance. Not even complicated time signatures can take away the feeling that this album was written in a weekend. Heck, it probably was written in a weekend. With all of the marriages, band member exchanges—they went through, like, five guitarists in two years before sticking with the reliable three-piece—tours and promos, the band hasn’t had much time to themselves. Then again, their previous album Phenomenon took five years for them to make, and it sounds like it was written in an afternoon by a teenager with ADD, so you never know.

So if you’re interested in hearing Christians take on Linkin Park’s slick rock then The Art of Breaking may be for you. Sampling adrenaline-charged tracks like "Hand Grenade" or "Absolute" can be a good start. These songs show not only how fierce TFK can make themselves sound, but also how trite their lyrics can be. For the rest of us who are sick to death of angry bands with nothing to say; pass this crap by and hope it doesn’t catch on.

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