Dustin Kensrue is known primarily for his role as lead singer and guitarist for rock band, Thrice. Thrice is a popular post- hardcore band formed in California in 1998. Dustin Kensrue has released two solo albums in his career, Please Come Home is an Americana influenced album and The Water and the Blood is a worship album highlighting his deep spiritual faith. His new studio album, Carry the Fire is a culmination of various music styles and influences from rock to folk to new wave but truly hits the mark as Kensrue’s strongest solo work to date.
The album begins with piano heavy “Ruby”, a love song influenced by 60’s era love songs, reminiscent of Pearl Jam’s cover of “Last Kiss”. “Back to Back” was written about the joys and struggles of marriage, musically inspired by The Cure with lyrics of “Back to Back, we were born to share this fight”. The folky track, “There’s Something Dark” is a dark and bleak track lyrically but is brightened up with a subtle acoustic guitar. “Gallows” is one of the heavier tracks musically that is more reminiscent of Thrice with Kensrue’s growling vocals and distorted guitar. The highlights of Carry the Fire are the heartfelt ode to Kensrue’s wife “Of Crows and Crowns” and uplifting “What Beautiful Things”. These tracks really showcase Kensrue’s raw vocal and lyrical abilities and one could wish there were more of these songs filling the album than the other new-wave influenced tracks included here.
Carry the Fire is a fantastic rock album by Dustin Kensrue that needs to be listened to over and over to truly soak in the artistry of the lyrics and musical stylings. Kensrue may be known as a front man for a hard rock band but his solo work proves he’s one of the finest lyricists of our generation.