Thousand Foot Krutch was founded in 1997 in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Shortly after, they released their debut album THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE DO. Over the years they have become known for such songs as: ‘Puppet’, ‘Rawkfist’, ‘Falls Apart’, and ‘Forward Motion’. Their latest album OXYGEN:INHALE (2014, TFK Music) was funded using a Pledge Music campaign. It is their second release since leaving Tooth & Nail Records. Lead singer Trevor McNevan shares: “We wanted to make a raw rock record. We decided to strip away all the background sounds and popular over-production, so that what you hear are just the instruments and the voice”. Thousand Foot Krutch is: Trevor McNevan, Steve Augustine, and Joel Bruyere. This album was produced by Aaron Sprinkle and McNevan. It was mixed by J. R. McNeely. The glossy CD booklet, photography, and packaging are a nice touch.
Starting things off is ‘Like a Machine’. It is a real crowd energizer musically and lyrically: “When it hits you like a wave/You’re not gonna feel the pain/So stand and face the rain/Like a war machine/You gotta give me a hey, yeah!/You gotta give me a hey, yeah/You wanna play this game/You can face the pain/Like a war machine/Comin’ thru like/We’re comin’ thru like/Hey, comin’ thru like/Like a war machine”. ‘Untraveled Road’ is a rock number that uses handclap sounds and is all about making a positive difference in the world: “Cause one voice is enough/To make sleeping giants wake up/To make armies put their hands up and watch what nations stand up/It’s one belief, one spark, one faith, and one restart/We can reboot the whole chart/Before it all falls apart/So stand up, shout it out, and put ‘em in the air if you like it loud/We only got one shot, so let’s make it count/It’s a take down, nobody can stop us now.../Before we depart, let’s leave a mark/Cause light shines brighter in the dark”.
Shawn Tubbs plays slide guitar on the album’s first single, ‘Born This Way’. It is a manly rocker and the song of one very comfortable in his own skin: “Because I was born this way/I got lightning running thru my veins/Ain’t nobody gonna stop this train/So hop on board, or get out the way”. ‘Set Me On Fire’ is a melodic song that contains these words of testimony: “I’ve been everywhere on earth and I still can’t find/A feeling that compares to Your blinding light/These doors I’ve locked, they all open for You/And it’s a rush, like the river that runs through me/I get caught in Your tide, like I can’t believe/You hold me like an open fire in You”.
Many will be able to relate to ‘Give it to Me’ and its opening words: “I’ve never felt like I belonged/I’ve never fit in any place, been alone, until now/Been carryin’ a weight that’s not my own/This levee’s gonna break, and I’m not sure I can hold on/And I’m not sure how long I can hold off this storm/There’s a dark cloud right over head”. ‘I See Red’ includes these honest thoughts: “There’s nothin’ left but the sound of my heart/There’s nothin’ left but the strings on this guitar/Take it all, take the hurt and heartache/Help me start again”.
‘Light Up’ is a ballad and love song of sorts: “I saw an angel fly today/Just like a movie I couldn’t speak/I couldn’t walk away/Cause you flew right thru me/And I’m not waiting/These hands are shaking, trembling/I’ve been taken by you/And I was lost before tonight and I’m so amazed at how you’ve/Touched me and make it right/Yes, I’m alive when I see you”. ‘In My Room’ is a great ballad that conveys a desire for intimacy with God: “I’m not sure if this is a good time/Or even if You’re home/It’s a long, long way from Your throne...but/Can You meet me in my room?/A place where I feel safe/Don’t have to run away/And I can just be me.../They say You’re always there/You never leave/Even when we don’t believe/And that sounds like love to me/I know I couldn’t do the same”.
‘Oxygen’ offers praise to God: “It felt like a wave when You washed over me tonight/All my life I’ve been a statue/Until Your refining fire/’Cause like a knife/You cut me open/I feel alive for the first time in my life/You’re the oxygen that lights my fire inside”. Chad Jeffers plays dobro on ‘Glow’. This closing song asks the following of God: “Burn me bright, or let me go/And make me stronger on the inside/And hold me tight or just let go/Cause I don’t want it if I can’t glow”.
In the liner notes, besides thanking his friends and family, Trevor McNevan writes: “Last but not least, My God, my rock, my refuge, my strength and my shield. Your refining fire melts away my imperfections daily and allows me to GLOW. I’m not ashamed. Thank you for empowering me to be a voice to the people, and for equipping me to go the distance. I give you ALL the glory, honor and praise. Light shines brighter in the dark”. OXYGEN:INHALE proves that Thousand Foot Krutch (TFK) is one of the leading Christian rock bands of our time, alongside the likes of Skillet and Third Day On this album you both hear the band rock quite hard and also hear them deliver several softer, very effective songs. This is a band that is not ashamed to declare a solid belief in God and His ways of working in lives today. I’m rating OXYGEN:INHALE 93%. For more info visit: www.thousandfootkrutch.com.