American Arson Returns With Sand & Cinder//Tide & Timber

For those that profess and subsequently live the Christian faith the musical landscape has oft been riddled with artists that seem to have their eyes set on prosperity more than The Gospel or they portray the Christian lifestyle as all sunshine and rainbows. However, amidst this landscape some artists have managed to stand out against the prosperity backdrop. American Arson is a solid example of a band that shows the harsh realities of life while continuing to hold on to the hope that is and can be found in Christ.

It’s been roughly three years since Facedown Records presented American Arson to the world with their full length debut A Line In The Sand. While American Arson was not new to the scene their signing to Facedown gave them exposure to a larger audience.

Sand & Cinder//Tide & Timber open with “The Almighty Arsonist” which serves as a rather iconic and powerful opening. It is a rather short track but serves the purpose of setting the stage for what is to come. “Low Tide” follows and is rooted in punk ideologies from a musical standpoint. It is fast paced and in your face (and even includes a breakdown for good measure). “Arrowheads” follows and serves as a solid anthemic track that vocalist Evan Baker states is his favorite song they have written as a band. It keeps a similar punk aesthetic, but it interwoven with a message of hope and peace.

As the album shifts in to its middle section it features “The Heat Trilogy” which was released as the first batch of singles for the album and instantly left fans clamoring for more. The intricacy of these tracks serve as a prime example of American Arson’s ability to craft songs that carry themselves as a story, but can also be so intrinsically different in terms of musical approach. Yes, they carry the signature American Arson tenacity at the core, but they still manage to be vastly diverse in musical approach and composition. Where “The Heat I: Run” tends to lean more toward a melodic nature, “The Heat II: Moonlight” veers left of that center and harnesses some more of a punk rock aesthetic. Meanwhile, “The Heat III: Goodbye” manages to feel even more diverse as it is more rock centric and has elements that sound reminiscent of P.O.D.’s Satellite era material (which is their best era in my opinion). After the trilogy “Gaslight” shifts things again ever so slightly without making the album feel disproportionate in any way.

“Hammer & Gavel” is another bold anthemic track that ushers in the final third of the album and serves as a solid call out to not let oneself get caught up in the mundane things that we often choose to pursue when we should be keeping our focus on Christ Himself. “Adversity” is one of the hardest hitting tracks that really delves deep in to the band’s ability to craft something so uplifting and encouraging amidst what could be considered a bleak or hopeless backdrop. It is this ability and approach to their songwriting that truly makes them stand out. In addition, they even utilize the track to call back to a track from their earlier pre-Facedown era and use that personal experience to drive the song even further. “Promises” and “Blood” round out the album in a similar fashion to how “The King Is Alive” closed out A Line In The Sand. “Promises” is shorter in nature, but to the point while “Blood” culminates as an anthemic finale.

Ultimately, Salt & Cinder//Tide & Timber is a breath of fresh air in a landscape where authenticity and vulnerability take a back seat. Baker and Gentry manage to leave it all on the table, both the good and the bad, and use their unique approach to storytelling and songwriting to share a message that even in the times when life is tough and faith may seem lost there is still an ever present hope that is resilient and defiant. Especially in the face of adversity.

Sand & Cinder//Tide & Timber is out now via Facedown Records and is available on all major streaming and digital platforms. Physical copies can be purchased via the Facedown webstore.

You can catch American Arson live on December 15th in Canton, MI for The 20th Barn Ugly Sweater Christmas Show and can find more details here.

American Arson – “Hammer & Gavel” (Official Music Video)

You can connect with American Arson on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (X).

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