I loved Children 18:3’s self-titled debut. But with each subsequent record and the band’s slipping further and further away from the fun pop punk sound that made that debut so great, it’s been hard to stick with the band. But it was still a shock when they announced that their crowd funded fourth full-length would be their last.
There’s a lot to like about Come In, as there has been with every record Children 18:3 has put out. There feels like there’s more of that punk spunk and energy that the band had on it’s debut, while keeping the maturity from their last two efforts.
The title track/intro has huge potential that I feel is never reached. A great guitar line and song structure that lends itself to the song building and coming to a huge crescendo. Or at least building itself into the second track in some fashion. But instead, the vocals build to fever pitch while the track barely moves to the richter scale and then it just dies. It sucks the energy out of the room for sure. You’re forced to regroup quickly as Bethlehem comes blazing in hot! My favorite song on Come In, a huge pop punk song delivered by Lee Marie. Afterall is classic Children 18:3. It’s a song we’ve heard on all of their records and love! It’s the type of song we’ve come to expect from Children 18:3. Hold Your Breath is the tamer version of Afterall. More straight forward rock & roll.
After that Come In fails to fully capture my attention. Don’t Stop Moving is a ballad. It’s not bad, I’ve just never been a huge fan of Children 18:3’s attempt at these moving ballad type songs. Because Of You is a big anthemic rock song led by Lee Marie. It’s a good bounce back from Don’t Stop Moving. For This We Ride is also a huge rock song but something about the arrangement, riff, and vocals (at various time, not all at once) makes the song a little disjointed for me. Not a terrible song, but just doesn’t do much for me. Let There Be Light is like a better version of For This We Ride. The songs feel more composed and unified.
The third Lee Marie fronted track, Watch Over Me, doesn’t hold my attention as much as the previous two. The guitar riff is interesting on the verse, but again, it feels disjointed from the chorus. Less so then For This We Ride, but just enough. Great Big World feels like Children 18:3 attempted to write a song that sounded like The Who, and succeeded. Long Ride Home is a goodbye song.It doesn’t sound like Children 18:3, but I kind of like it.
I like Come In. And I think I like it more than anything the band’s done since their self-titled debut. But I can also tell it’s not a record I will find myself looking to listen to as much as I still do their debut. Some great songs and not a bad record to end on. 3.5 out of 5 Stars.