Thousand Foot Krutch was founded in Peterborough, Ontario in 1997. Their first indie release SET IT OFF came out in 2000 and included the fan favourite ‘Puppet’. They toured with Finger Eleven, The Tea Party, and others. Krutch signed with Tooth and Nail Records in 2003 and released PHENOMENON which included another crowd favourite ‘Rawkfist’. In September of 2007 they put out their fourth studio album THE FLAME IN ALL OF US (Tooth&Nail). It was produced and mixed by Ken Andrews who has worked with Beck, Chris Cornell, Pete Yorn, and others. The album was nominated for Hard Music Album of the Year at 2008’s Covenant Awards and for Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year at the Junos. On this release group leader and vocalist Trevor McNevan is joined by Joel Bruyere on bass and Steve Augustine on drums. Playing guitars is Phil X whose credits include Tommy Lee, Alice Cooper, and Avril Lavigne.
The title track is a heavy electric guitar driven rock song. It points out that the band’s generation has great potential: “We are the youth of yesterday/We’ve brought You pain and sorrow/That’s what they say/But they paved the way/We are the new tomorrow/It’s the strength in you and me/That surrounds everything/The way You look out for me/The way You burn/It’s the flame in all of us/The same that makes us feel this flame in all of us”. Trevor’s voice has a recognizable edge to it on ‘Falls Apart’. This song praises God for His goodness: “Everything I have ever been made of/Hates who I am/I’m so glad You waited/Can’t get my mind off/How You could love me/I’m so behind, You’re so far above me/And You’ll always be the wind under my wings/Above me/You’ll always be the wind under my wings/Above me”.
‘New Drug’ is a manly rocker. It could be interpreted a couple of ways. It could be referring to the pull of the flesh (the old man) in one’s life, or it could be expressing a craving for God: “I want it, I need it, I taste it, I breathe it/It fuels my aggression and fuels my questions/I cannot conceal it/It drives me/I feel it/It fills me/I need it/Now I believe it/I, I want it/I, I need it/I, I breathe it/You are the new drug/I, I want you, I, I need you/I believe you, you are the new drug”. ‘What Do We Know?’ is a softer, melodic song. It makes good use of a children’s choir from Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, TN. It speaks of being a positive force in today’s society: “Maybe if we pulled together/We could change a million lives for the better/And maybe if we prayed a little more/We would stop living in fear from the storm.../Every part is you, every part is me/Raise your hands and sing/Tell them we can be/Show them who you are/Show them you can see/Raise your hands and sing/Tell them we are free”.
‘Favorite Disease’ is a great song. In the liner notes Trevor talks of how music can be a great tool, but one can become obsessed with it. Here are some of the lyrics: “Silent warnings tell me/That I’ve let things come undone/Show me, teach me the way to Heaven/Cause no other way can.../Sometimes I feel like a monster/And times I feel like a saint/I’m on my knees/You’re my favourite disease.../And I love the way you kill me/Love the way you heal me”. ‘My Home’ is a light rock love song from a traveling musician to his spouse: “Home is the voice that I hear every night on the phone/And I’ve done a few things I wasn’t proud of/Might have said a few things that hurt you/But you’re still the only one/Who fills me up/And every night spent alone was worth it/You are my home/You are my everything/When I feel so all alone/You are my home/You are my shelter/When all my hope is gone”.
‘My Own Enemy’ heads back into hard rock territory musically. This song is about a person trying to avoid self-destruction: “This anger changes me/It effects the way I see/Effects every part of me/And makes you my enemy/But when it falls apart/It’s like a brand new start/And I can’t remember why/I ripped everything apart/I’m still my own worst enemy/The world around me/All can see what they want to see/I need some help/Because I’m still my worst enemy/No matter where I am/I’ll still get the best of me/I’m my own enemy”. ‘Learn to Breathe’ uses strings and seems directed straight at the group’s critics: ”You think you have it all figured out/You think you’re onto something/I see you standing there/Acting like you have no idea what I’m talking about/You don’t like the way I dress/You don’t like the way I talk/That’s fine, cause nobody asked you/And next time you want to point the finger/I suggest you look in the mirror”.
‘Inhuman’ includes vocals by Charlotte Martin. This headbanger includes a chorus of thanks to God: “I’m alive because You touched me/Take away the things that crush me/No one else can save me like You do/You’re inhuman/I’m alive because You gave me/Time enough to shake this hate and take it all away/Just like you do/You’re inhuman”. ‘Broken Wing’ sounds like it could be an Our Lady Peace song. It shows great concern for a friend: “Every time you walk away wish you’d stay/Instead of pushin’ further away/Every time I hear you say/I just need one/To take this pain away/You’re a broken wing, not a broken thing/You can heal in time/If you try/It’ll be okay/You can walk away, sweet Julia”.
Musically ‘The Safest Place’ is one of the heaviest songs on the album. It is the song of one seeking freedom from a vice: “And all I feel is friction/I don’t want it/I hate this addiction/I won’t be the safest place to hide/Take this cup from me/Your sick and twisted lies/And I won’t be your safest place to hide/Lord, help me break these chains/I need to see the light”. Track 12 on the CD actually contains two songs. The first is ‘Wish You Well’, a pretty ballad. It contains some of my favourite lyrics on the album: “Sometimes faith feels like doubt/And sometimes I wonder if we’ll ever get out/Sometimes life hurts just like now/But ya gotta know/It’s all gonna come back around/I wish you well, I wish you well/On this trip to find yourself/I wish you well/Wish I could help/But I can’t help you find yourself”. ‘The Last Song’ is pretty and reflects on the early days of the band.
THE FLAME IN ALL OF US may not have a lot of blatantly Christian lyrics on it, but that’s okay. What we seem to have here is a deeply personal collection of songs from Trevor McNevan. The lyrics provoke thought and feeling. Trevor can sing equally well both rock music and quieter ballads. I’m rating this one 88% and recommending it to fans of Skillet. For more info visit: www.thousandfootkrutch.com.