On Come In, Children 18:3 — a trio made up of siblings Dave, Lee Marie and Seth Hostetter — have picked out the best elements from their previous work resulting in their greatest album to date. From their first EP in 2004 until Come In, you can follow a natural maturation and progression through their cannon. As a result, some songs on Come In feel like nods to their past material. For example, a song like “Hold Your Breath” could show up alongside the likes of “Homemade Valentine” from their debut album.
I love Children 18:3’s classic-rock-tinged-punk sound, a sound they’ve never abandoned since the beginning. There is a wonderful dynamic between the classic and rough vocals of Dave with the softer voice of Lee Marie. Both singers can handle the range of styles (from aggressive punk anthems to melody driven ballads). The vocals are layered over some great guitar riffs and world-class drumming from Seth. Dave fronts the band with some really slick guitar leads, writing them in that perfect sweet spot between overly simple and frantically complicated.
Part of what sets Children 18:3 apart from their peers is the narrative style of many of their songs. It’s a story-like feel that takes the listener through the song without stereotypical vague metaphors. The album is filled with imagery of lonely travelers, strangers in the night, brewing storm clouds and the ever-present references to sailing and the sea, themes the band has touched on in the past.
“Long Ride Home” is the perfect, poignant goodbye, closing out the band’s final record. Come In is an inspiringly appropriate sendoff for a band that’s calling it after 13 years on the road. It will fit right in with their others, and, also like them, it’ll be a record I’ll be listening to for a long time to come.