Children 18:3 has always been an extremely creative punk/rock group. Their previous two Tooth and Nail records have been well received by fans and have also seen the band traveling the country playing rock shows and encouraging their listeners in their walk with the Lord. However, Children 18:3 offers an even better, fresh approach with their third album On the Run. Fronted by the album’s first single “Moment to Moment,” the band definitely has matured their sounds, making yet another fun, easy-to-sing-along-with album.
The first thing I noticed about the On the Run album, which opens up with “Moment To Moment,” was the heavily melodic rock. The band’s harmonies and eclectic harmonies make it an instant sensation from the first few seconds straight through to the end of the album. The opening track, fronted by David’s vocals, also features supportive background vocals from Lee Marie, as well as lead guitar, and even quite a bit of screamo. In addition, the lyrics are awesome, encouraging the listener that “every task before you is a challenge to succeed.” The band is definitely more outspoken in their lyrics this time around, and “Moment to Moment” is a phenomenal opening to the On the Run album!
“Bandits” follows, actually sounding quite comparable to “Cover Your Eyes” from Children 18:3’s debut, with diverse lyrics that speak of the struggle of loneliness, and “We’ll Never Say Goodbye” follows on the same note. It has an appropriate gloomy tone to it, as it speaks of the struggle of saying goodbye to someone you love – “Summer is almost over, we’ll never say goodbye/ sunlight is growing colder, but we’ll never say goodbye.” For the first time on this album, Lee Marie leads the track with her high vocals, which fit the punk rock music perfectly. The key also changes, and she blends her vocals with David’s harmonies, which is actually breathtaking. Clearly, Children 18:3 poured themselves into each track, as this one shows well.
“What About Justice?” is very chaotic, with chanting lyrics that present questions without answers (“What can I say? They’re looking at me for answers?"). At the same time, the track is a great sing-along with extremely catchy guitar riffs and overlapping lyrics. This is David’s spotlight, and he knocks the ball out of the park. The creativity of this band, and the unexpected song twists make this album, as a whole, a rewarding listen. This track ends in an awesome drum solo from Seth Aaron, which doesn’t really blend into the following track, but keeps the momentum going. “Jenny,” track five off the album, is a bit hard to follow, but becomes clear by the bridge, an admonition to take the chance before the moment is gone. I did enjoy the melody, though I personally thought “Jenny” was one of the lesser tracks off this album.
The title track, of sorts, “Always On the Run” is cool in that it is unlike anything I’ve heard from Children 18:3 yet. It has a laid back feel to it, as Lee Marie takes on the verses, and David sings the chorus. It also has a depressing feel to it, but has great lyrics, calling the listener back home: “But until you arrive somewhere, you’ll be running, you’ll always be running/ so stay away from me/ we can’t make a home like this when you’re running/ you’ll always be running, so runaway, run away from me.”
Very melodic, “I Tried to Do the Right Thing” takes the album back into the crazy punk rock from Children 18:3, followed by “Hold On.” Though it is a bit hard to follow, it speaks of finding comfort through a postcard with encouragement on it. I assume, based on the depth of the lyrics, that it is a true story. Also, the track does have nice lead guitar and goes up a key, which keeps the track interesting, nonetheless.
My personal favorite off On the Run is the ninth track off the album, titled, “Why Are You Afraid of the Dark?” It is a bit repetitious, but has awesome guitar riffs again, and speaks of finding encouragement from God during the dark nights of life. First, it asks: “Why are you afraid of the dark tonight, you little one? I’m right beside you/ sleep!” And then, by the bridge: “When I can’t see, lead me Almighty.” I enjoyed the allegory, of sorts, and the repetition made it easy to sing along to while still through the first spin.
“Nowhere to Run” has an awesome interactive feel to it with chanting lyrics again that make it rather exciting. “All In Your Head” leads the album to it’s closing, with a very fun chorus, that I can imagine would be fantastic in concert: “Come on! You’re distracted and I expected something crazy. Come on! A little bit louder, a little bit harder.” It seems to be more fun than having a message, but it does well at that. “Drifter” is an excellent outro, a shorter track, with cool choral effects from Lee Marie and David’s combined vocals put through a futuristic filter. It is a great ending!
Overall, I think Children 18:3 knows who they are with this album. They’ve definitely matured their sound, which will, no doubt, cause more fans to appreciate the work of this band. They’ve offered encouragement in the tough times, as well as given a whole album filled with rockers that are sure to keep your attention and have you hitting “play” all over again. On the Run is definitely Children 18:3’s best work to date!
Release date: June 19, 2012
1. Moment to Moment
3. We’ll Never Say Goodbye
4. What About Justice?
6. Always On the Run
7. I Tried to Do the Right Thing
8. Holding On
9. Why Are You Afraid of the Dark
10. Nowhere to Run
11. All In Your Head