Children 18:3

by Dan Vierck
December 2008

Children 18:3 from Minneapolis, MN

Children 18:3 from Minneapolis, MN

Children 18:3 are a dream come true for nearly any general fan of music. The music is easy to swallow but exciting and stands up listen after listen. They are, however, a critic’s nightmare.

This Minnesotan three piece shamelessly (and rightfully so) defines themselves with elements of pop, punk, rock and aesthetics that can be so polarizing it’s kind of a wonder they have the massive fan base they do.

If a Children 18:3 newbie doesn’t run when they hear “Christian Rock” they might when they see the band’s long haired, greasy, mascara’ed front man. Or, if they don’t turn the other cheek when comparisons to Alkaline Trio turn up they might turn the page when they hear this trio is a band of siblings.

Perhaps the combination of all these elements is what makes that band so outstanding. They are righteous, brazen and honest.

Live, they’re peerless. David Hostetter Jr.’s guitar never stops swinging around his knees from his mile long strap and he never comes at the mic from the same angle in the furious, powerful half hour set. Seth Hostetter’s drum solos would be pretentious and conceited if he wasn’t doing it for the sheer joy of noise and excitement of being alive and in that room, that day, at that time. LeeMarie Hostetter holds down the bass with a reckless confident flair that adds a fresh energy to any stage they grace.

On their self-titled Tooth and Nail debut, the band doesn’t shy away from a polished, smooth bold sound, or any hat tipping toward any genre that might best fit a song. The band dips into ska and dance beats here and there, but never slows down or lets the listener get bored. The songs are of an easy radio caliber, brought off with talent well aware of where not to steal the spotlight. Listening to any instrument or melody, nothing is superfluous.

David’s voice is simply bold and stable. It’s clear and unencumbered by popular over-emotionalism. The lyrics are about friends, hope, loss, disillusionment and being alive and young. If there’s punk attitude in the lyrics, it’s not your typical guff and sass. Instead, it’s sarcasm in the form of songs like, “You Know We’re all so Fond of Dying.”

One theme that carried over from their earlier, non-label efforts is the expectations people have for others that don’t fit in, or choose to be different at all. It’s obvious that this trio has seen their share of people not understanding. Instead of ever ignoring their accusers, changing for the sake of fitting in or becoming bitter, the band time after time asks ‘Why? Why do I need to change?’ Let’s pray they never do.

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