Carry The Fire
Dustin Kensrue’s solo material has progressed similarly to that of another sensitive bearded man originally from a heavy band: City & Colour’s Dallas Green. Kensrue’s debut, 2007’s Please Come Home was acoustic-based, while his 2013 worship album, The Water And The Blood, probably had committed atheists singing along as it implemented full-band sounds (“Suffering Servant”) to astounding results, with emotional climaxes rivaling Thrice’s strongest moments. Kensrue’s second non-CCM album mirrors C&C’s development with similarly rollicking pacing, memorable melodies, stylistically variant characteristics and lots of loving odes to his wife. It’s a robust and decidedly enjoyable affair with crystaline production and highlights like the strong-armed, folk-rock shuffle of “Back To Back” and the slow, shadowy buildup and detonation of the closing title track. In addition, unique detours—the funky stomp of “Gallows,” the smoky, Bruce Springsteen/Brian Fallon-style quiver on the buoyant “Death Or Glory,” the touching piano ballad “Of Crows And Crowns”—maintain momentum while showcasing Kensrue’s resonant versatility.