Reviews – Children Collide Theory of Everything

Published in Inpress in early September 2010.

Melbourne trio Children Collide have toned down the sound for their sophomore release, Theory of Everything. Inspiration for Johnny Mackay (guitars/vocals), Heath Crawley (bass) and Ryan Caesar (drums) for this release came from Arthur Edward Waite’s 1911 book The Pictorial Key To The Tarot, combined with physicist John Ellis’s theory of everything, to create an atmospheric album filled with tracks about the human life form and the universe.

The album kicks off strong with ‘Future Monks,’ a slow-tempo, commercial-radio-friendly track featuring a strong backbeat, and a spontaneous hard riff. Following on is Jellylegs, a drum-fuelled track with Mackay’s trademark scream kicking in at the chorus. Its upbeat tempo gets you moshing around your room as if you’re listening to the song live.

Unfortunately, the midsection of the album is quite bland. Mackay’s vocals on Arrows and Loveless are of a limited range, and the energy level of the instrumentation is somewhat diminished compared to the upbeat rock of their 2008 debut release, The Long Now.

However, the album picks up and finishes off with a bang, taking on a slight change of style. Seven Fork starts out slow with echoing vocals, picking up momentum at its conclusion with Mackay’s loud and fast riffs, Crawley’s melodic bass line and Caesar’s head-bopping drum beat. The standout track is My Eagle, with its simple yet catchy tune, a reoccurring event within the realms of Children Collide.

When you purchase the CD, you also receive a special edition tarot card (or the whole pack if purchased online); each one represents a different song.

The album sounds even better live.

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