here they are... the Album Reviews!
Direct from issue 73 (Sept./Oct. '98)
EMBODYMENT Embrace the Eternal (Solid State) Oh my! These guys join their labelmates Warlord in defying definition. In one word: metal! The first thing that will immediately jump on you and pin you to the floor is the lightning quick speed and tightness of this unit. If youre caught unawares by this group, you might even feel like youre Popeye and Brutus is punching you repeatedly in the face, with his knees pinning your shoulders to the ground. The double bass riffs have that effect. This image really comes to mind in the song, Prophesy, where I hear shouts of prophesy, which sound similar to the taunts that Jesus faced in His tortuous beating. Sonically its refreshing to hear all the different instruments clearly in the midst of an aural assault like this. One of the funny comments I heard about this album was, They waste so many riffs, man! They use almost an albums worth of riffs in just one song! This allegation is almost an accurate description of Embodyment. They dont seem happy to capitalize on one riff for too long, before they run through a time change or a completely different groove and then another and then another. If you dont follow along, you might not even be aware that youre listening to the same song! And they dont just stick with speed riffing, either. Sometimes theyll churn out a slow and beefy riff that could be used as military marching music, or in a Black Sabbath tribute song.
The other defining part of this band is the black metal like screeching for vocals that are everywhere. Its not as extreme as much of the Norwegian black metal vocalizing, though, and its fairly decipherable most of the time.
Man, these guys are heavy! And boy have they shown improvement since their demos from 1995! If you see these guys live first, youll be amazed that they can pull it off in the studio. If you hear the album first, youll be amazed that they can pull it off live! Either way, this new band is in a win/win situation. Fans of hard music from both the metal and punk sides of the fence will embrace for this band. (Doug Van Pelt)
MxPx Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo (A&M/Tooth & Nail) A pile of awesome sounds comes from this disc, thanks to Steve Kravacs production. It seems each sound, from guitars to vocals to that tight snare drum were recorded with the greatest of care. My favorite song from a guitar standpoint is Im OK, Youre OK.
The DownFall of Western Civilization hints at something between arena rock and old school punk, with its guitar lead, followed by an acappella gang vocal moment. Fist Vs. Tact shows Mikes ability to make the transition into a heavily shouted punk vocal.
Besides the staples good, tight playing and great, catchy melodies that youve come to expect from MxPx, theres plenty of growth. Just like the maturity we saw between Teenage Politics and Life in General, so this is another leap forward for the band. Many have chided this band for going secular, which is kind of silly. Anyway, for those fans who arent happy until spiritual things are mentioned, check out Tomorrows Another Day. This CD is packed with 16 great songs, which should serve to entertain and challenge both old fans and new listeners alike. (Brian Vincent McGovern)
CRAIG'S BROTHER Homecoming (Tooth & Nail) As you may have read a few issues back, Craigs Brother unwittingly achieved a position on this editors favorite punk band list, with their amazing 7-inch. Well, the full-length is out, and no, Im not disappointed. From their ability to stop on the smallest of dimes to the incredible vocal talents of Ted Bond. There are more often than not two guitars going at once, and the harmonization continues with the three-part vocals, making this some of the biggest sound Ive heard in this genre. The Title Track has a very 50s melody, though instrumentation is strictly punk rock. And some of the guitar lead moments remind one of a little thing we used to call metal. I cant wait to see if they can pull off this stuff live! (BVM)
SLICK SHOES Burnout (Tooth & Nail) After this magazines less than adequate review of Slick Shoes strong debut, Rusty, this young band is back to prove that you dont necessarily know what you thought you knew about punk rock. One of the tightest punk bands in the Christian market, Slick Shoes sports some young members, including amazing-for-his-age guitarist Jackson Mould, and the equally speedy singer Ryan Kepke.
Like I said, these boys are tight, proving that theyve played together constantly since their formation a year or two ago. And new guitarist Dale Yobs contributions serve to make a thicker, meatier string layer. We dont hear as many of Jacksons metal leads this time, but weve certainly been impressed by what weve heard so far from Burnout including the way one song turns into Quiet Riots Metal Health. (BVM)
PULLER Closer Than You Think (Tooth & Nail) With a cool melody blended with timely musicianship, the first track, Wishing, sadly laments a relationship with lyrics like, I find I wish a lot, reduced to a vampire. This is all the damage I care to take... I see a lot more guitar variety here. In fact, some of the hooks in songs like Out of My Head hint at Stavesacre. Though not as heavy, it sure is rock & roll.
Geoff Riley keeps the drums plenty busy, while steering clear of overplaying. And Mike Lewis again proves his talent, from smoothly played guitar, to impassioned vocals to his thoughtfully-penned lyrics. For those curious as to his spiritual direction, check out songs like, Own Devices, which admits, You whisper my name, I hear my call, I tend to fall down, you lift up my heart... you lift up my eyes, or even Never the Less, which pleads, Speak to me gently, Im fragile now. Im giving up, please take me over... Its so good to see an artist write about his/her beliefs by demand of their own broken, open heart, and not the upkeep of a Christian music career.
Musically, it seems theres more structure this time, more melody, and less of a mess. So if you like the Puller of old, you may want to think about the qualities you liked and disliked, and go from there. Better yet, just hear the record. (BVM)
BROWBEATS Wither Wing (KMG) The entire record features some of the more talented, yet underappreciated members of the modern Christian music community. Starting out this disc with EDLs Tedd Cookerley, and having former members of bands like Plankeye and the Prayer Chain, as well as SF59 (Jason Martin) were wise choices, as they help to reinvent the vibe of this series (or compilation, or whatever it is), and serve to let folks know this isnt the Browbeats of the past. But like the former, Mike Knott appears here, doing everything from guitar/bass to singing and screaming especially alongside Scott Silletta in Getting Normal. Also a staple is Gene Eugene, especially with his stellar voice on the rootsy Out of Time. It was cool to hear the memorable Ricki Racer, and its remix, featuring Knott, and then an unnamed female singer, respectively. Also included here is a rock version of the Aunt Bettys Tattoo. Jason Martins performance (Just Wanna Be You) is a little more energetic guitar-wise than youd find on a Starflyer record, and his vocals are less distinguishable, but heck, he does a nice job. In fact, I dont think theres a dud on the CD. (BVM)
PLAID Understanding God (Rustproof) These guys have more groove and credibility than many young bands out today, as suggested by their list of endorsements. Like the classic guitar hooks that are mixed with most modern rock? Youll be thrilled to hear songs like Listen and Live & Learn, as well as the tight album opener, Pick Your Poison. Brannon Hancock also lifts the passion level with his vocal skills. Each song is either a humble and personal call on the Father, or an imploration for another to do the same.
The only thing I couldve done without was the disco-like title track. If I caught the album in the middle of that song and didnt know who it was, Id speculate that it might be Michael Jackson on speed, doing lounge music... but hey, some fansll love it. Understanding God, besides being a difficult thing to accomplish, is a record with a ton of potential, not unlike the band that recorded it. (BVM)
SQUIRT Go! (Absolute) The voices havent changed yet... but the Hanson similarities end there. Instead of mmm-bop, these boys play rock & roll. Jordan Dickerson seems to have learned from dad in the vocal dept., as theyre clean and smooth. Blake and Torreys BGVs arent bad either, but could stand a little refining. But heck, theyve got time to improve. In fact, given the rate at which kids learn and adjust, Id guess that theyre probably even better now than when this single was recorded. Interesting also is their rendition of A Mighty Fortress. The enhanced stuff gets an A+ in my book too! Easily navigable, with oodles of footage. (BVM)
CURIOUS FOOLS Electric Soul (Gotee) Complete with the trademark harmonies you heard on Read, Stephen Murray & Co. have finally released its follow-up. Still at the top of the pile production-wise, the smooth grit of Murrays voice comes across clearly from the first note. This first song, Top of the World, is a scary foreshadowing of the rest of the disc. While much of Read portrayed a few more melancholy aspects of the human emotional spectrum, Electric Soul is, shall we say, happier. Lyrics like If I stand, if I fall, Im still on top of the world remind me of artists like 4 Him and Point of Grace. While, thankfully, the music has not sunken to that level, there isnt exactly a punch in the gut here either. Even though most songs have adequate soul and obvious emotion a Curious Fools requirement the entire album is at least thinly coated with a polish, perhaps, of the Nashville variety.
Besides for the reason of Murrays deft vocal talents, I have always loved this band for their amazing guitar tones, and songwriting competence. The Other Side could be a neat throwback to a certain bullfrog known as Jeremiah, with its snazzy classic rock guitar, but it also has a few neat effects, like some voice box singing.
Read Is still one of my all-time favorite albums, but I cannot hand over that honor to Electric Soul so easily, due to the slick layers of CCM pop. (BVM)
PHIL KEAGGY (Myrrh) From the first driving acoustic blues rock Sign Came Through a Window, Keaggys relaxed, rhythmic songwriting is all over this disc, and his smooth, always Beatle-like voice comes from around the corner, reminding the listener of the mans past work. Often lauded as one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived, such playing is apparent in songs like the acoustic Celtic-flavored Beneath the Blood-Stained Lintel. Under the Grace is likely a get-Phil-on-the-radio song, as its a mellow JPM from the first CCM note. The Celtic tendencies continue with Above All Things, which I can rightfully compliment as similar to Rich Mullins work. Chase the bad away is the other near-rocker here, as the guitars are actually electric, but the best musicians know that loudness and technical proficiency isnt as necessary as music that just plain sounds cool, and Keaggy delivers with this track. (BVM)
MORELLA'S FOREST From Dayton With Love (Tooth & Nail) While not as poppy sounding as Ultraphonic Hiss, From Dayton With Love is still very much more accessible than the bands messy first record, Superdeluxe. Highlights include a few keyboards and violins among the usual distorted guitars, and theres also a cool instrumental or two, proving that Morellas Forest isnt just Sydney & the band. Also here is a slower version of Kim Wildes Kids in America. Why hasnt this band been more widely noticed than they are? Ya got me! (BVM)
JESSE & THE ROCKERS (Screaming Giant) Melodic punk from Alabama? Can we take it seriously? Sure, we can! Jesse & the Rockers belt out some hypertension in this, their debut record. Considerably tight, but using neo-typical punk rock chord progressions, these guys jump in with both sneakers, and dont let up, from the punchy drums to the well-produced, big-sounding BGVs. (BVM)
EXETER FLUD (Bulletproof) The first track, "Darling D," is reflective of the vibe one will find on the entire album, yet the journey through this bands debut recording brings to mind any word but monotony. Try emotive, deep, thick, and tight and thats just the guitars! Great production also drips from the disc, as more strictly evidenced by Mystery, with its laid back semi-Choir-like guitars and punchy opening drums. Most all of the impassioned vocals on the record, however, are dangerously similar, lending the casual listener an obliviousness to track differences. Whatever you call it, whether emo or just modern rock, Exeter Fluds first time out is a success. (BVM)
Various HM Video Magazine Vol. 5 (HM Records) For all you metal fans out there, here it is nothing but the metal. Six videos and band interviews are featured here. The highlights are Living Sacrifices Reject, which is black & white, and has great live shots mixed with staged rocking out. Definite MTV quality. Tourniquets Crawl to China is a pretty visually stimulating video. Its got them in some shipping warehouse rocking out. This is pretty close to MTV quality. Screams of Chaos Genetic War is relatively good, with shots of war and nuclear explosions mixed in with the band jamming out. The singer and drummer have some interesting makeup on. The Galactic Cowboys videos Feel the Rage and Evil Twin are both very colorful and interesting ideas, but the film quality is not very good. I give them props for their ideas, though. Mortifications video, Mephibosheth, is not too good. Its very amateurish. Definitely colorful, though. Overall, some of the videos do not really appeal to me. Maybe Im just spoiled by MTV, but I believe that if youre gonna do it, do it right. (Eric Shirey)
Various Seltzer 2 [Video] & Seltzer 2 [CD] (ForeFront) In the labels second edition of their Seltzer series, ForeFront utilizes the popularity of such bands as the Supertones, Five Iron Frenzy, and Plankeye, and newer artists like Jennifer Knapp and Miss Angie. But also included are material by the labels own artists (Peace by Grammatrain, Audio As Never Gonna Be as Big as Jesus, and Skillets Saturn, etc.). Its also cool to see some lesser known, but eclectic (and similarly named) ensembles like The Electrics and Joy Electric.
An interesting thing about the video in relation to the CD, is that not all the songs on the video are on the CD, and vice versa. A plus for fans wanting to hear different songs by the same artist, but perhaps a minus for those who hear a particular song on the CD, and then buy the video with the intention of seeing that same song performed. The disc is full, with 17 tracks, but the videos song count isnt too shabby either at 14. (BVM)
STEVE HINDALONG Skinny (Cadence) As proven by Ted Kirkpatrick and Jesse Sprinkle, among many talented others, drummers arent just mindless lumps of muscle who sit behind a kit, quieting down when the real musicians tell them to. Steve Hindalong is a prime example of a take-charge drummer. After years of Choir membership, in which he co-wrote scores of songs with Derri Daugherty, and sang his share of vocals, he steps out to do a solo project. The man has also been extremely busy in recent years producing albums all over Nashville.
In his first venture into solo land, Hindalong displays a maturity found only in veterans, and veterans are also who he got to play with him on this record. Matt Slocum lends cello at times, Gene Eugene, Mike Knott, Jenny Gullen (hoi Polloi) add a little voice, Jason Martin (SF59) contributes some guitar, and Wayne Everett (Prayer Chain, SF59) takes care of various vocals, guitars and, of course, percussions. And it sounds as if the Phil Keaggy-ish Diggin Your Style is written for Everett.
While some may tire of Hindalongs contemplative simple man voice, others may find it continually refreshing and just plain candid, so as to match the, yes, speculative lyrics. (BVM)
Various God-core Chronicles, I & II (Flying Tart) Oh wow, cool! This must be a compilation of indie hardcore bands, right? Wrong! This is a rehash of old songs from the R.E.X. catalog dating back to that labels beginning. Songs by Trytan, Detritus, Killed By Cain, and Greg Minier are anything but hardcore. Of course, songs like Dies Arae (Believer), Skate or Die (The Lead), Front (Six Feet Deep), Twisted Reality (Circle of Dust), and Gutterboy (Argyle Park) are cool to have collected on one CD (especially for those new to the scene who have never heard these tunes), but it just bums this reviewer out that a title with the word core in it was used. This is one of those products that you have to read the fine print of before buying. Beware.(DV)
Various Surfonic Water Revival (KMG) I can still remember my buddy Aaron and I singing Beach Boys songs for our peers during recess in the 4th grade; imagining we were at the beach, with the blue, blue surf shimmering on the horizon, and the little surfer girls wanting to hang out with us. The problem was, we were in chilly, landlocked Montana, and our California dreams were just that dreams (especially the part about the girls). Well, this record is born out of the desire to glorify God, the Creator of the famed beaches in the Golden State.
All but four songs are written by non other than producer Terry Scott Taylor. He even sings two songs: one written for Kerry Livgren (Into the Deep), and a Daniel Amos song called Pay for Surf. The gritty ska of the Insyderz simply rocks on A Good Sailor Knows, and the vocals that Brothers Keeper (performed with Phil Keaggy) achieve on California Blue are amazingly clean and strong. Plumbs performance of Surfer Girl Replies is a mellow, yet rhythmic statement, showcasing Tiffany Arbuckles nimble voice, and the trademark guitar work of Mike Roe (who is also the Lost Dog handling vocals on The Net.) Its also cool to hear artists like Rebecca St. James here, obviously a context in which youve never experienced her... yet, only the surfy guitar distinguishes this (Gold Coast) from her usual fare. And Skillets Last Day of Summer starts off sounding a bit like Veer Chasm, with the low half-spoken voice opening the verse.
One of the impressive things about this is that, unlike most compilations, this isnt just a collection of appropriate songs the artists already had lying around. Each track was recorded specifically for this record (except for the Supertones instrumental Caught Inside). Taylor says it best in the liner notes: Theres a little of the modern here, and a great deal of the retro, with a few surprises thrown in as well. (BVM)
NEWSBOYS Step Up to the Microphone (Star Song) Yeah, they may be the darlings of youth pastors everywhere, but unlike many such bands in the industry, that doesnt mean the music is sub par. This record has a bite that just a few of the bands previous records have had, while maintaining the bands penchant for quality songwriting. Steve Taylor did not produce this project, but rather, vocalist/songwriter/former drummer Peter Furler did, and it sounds great. John James is gone, but honestly, it doesnt make a huge difference, as its usually been Furlers elastic voice youve been hearing for the past few years anyway.
The last two songs on the album are deep, contemplative ballads, showcasing the relatively newfound lack of silliness Newsboys has found, and are no longer leaning on the Steve Taylor songwriting crutch for which critics have chided them.
This next step in the bands career has plenty of rock & roll, along with the bands everlasting European influences. but Id almost venture to guess that one who doesnt like this record either cant stand this style (poppy electronic modern rock), or simply doesnt want to like Newsboys, due to any number of presuppositions about them. (BVM)
TONY PALACIOS Epic Tales of Whoa!! (Cadence) This is a bold album for Guardians six-string slinger. Its 1998 and its been ten years since neo-classical albums by guitar heroes like Vinnie Moore and Tony MacAlpine were standard items in the album collections of musicians and metalhead fans alike. In some ways, its not cool or in to be noodling away with the guitar like this, but its also fairly timeless to create and play instrumental tracks with proficient playing skills and an ear for a good melody especially when it comes to a Texas blues song like Toms Cat. Tony, of course, has a great ear for songwriting and great fingers for soloing. Much like the solo operatic genre, which is a make or break situation depending on how good the voice sounds, this guitar album niche is for showcasing a guitar that can sing. Tonys fingers indeed sing like a bird.
Apparently, this album was written over a ten-year time span, with several different and legendary musicians adding their drum and bass chops. Sometimes in this genre youll hear an obvious drum machine and the kind of rhythm section that is barely propping up the lead guitar playing. Overall, this doesnt seem to be the case. And over all the overall, this playing is good and I like it. I like it a lot. (DV)
POUND HOUND Massive Grooves From the Electric Church of Psychofunkadelic Grungalism Rock Music (Metal Blade) After swallowing the mouthful of a title that also serves as the albums introduction, you are taken on a wild ride that runs from Jimi Hendrix psychedelia to P-funk to Dogman dirty low-end crunch. Fans of Kings X will miss the harmonies, but get a healthy dose of the heavy side of Kings X. Doug Pinnick here claimed to have recorded some of this in the key of B, which makes for quite a low sound (check out the intro to Shake). Other Kings X characteristics, like repeated lines of a chorus (Friends), appear as well, making no mistake about who youre listening to. After hearing Doug talk of his varied influences for years and how he wanted to do a solo album, Im surprised at how similar this album is to Kings X! I expected total departure.
Although very unconventional, Dougs music and words create almost an electric church service: Close your eyes and hear the music / close your eyes and feel the music / open your mind to know the music / let your soul come taste the music...let it be good, good, good to ya. Somebodys words, and then theres music...no need to fear, its only music! But what about references to: the God of dysfunctional love? Shake your thang? Wrangle-jangle something to believe in? The lyrics here raise a few questions. My world just got darker?
For those wanting their faith wrapped up in a nice, neat package, you wont get it here. But those wanting to know if this record is safe to listen to will be glad to know that it is. While Doug may have some ideas and thoughts that might challenge a believers mind, but he doesnt really push the envelope here. (DV)
MAD AT THE WORLD World History (KMG) In a great move for Christian music enthusiasts, the KMG label purchased the back catalog of Frontline (including the Intense and Alarma sub-labels), allowing classic metal and alternative releases to see the light of day again. Besides the double-disc re-issues that skimp on original artwork/packaging, a few best-of albums have been released. Mad At The World gets the treatment here. 14 tunes are picked for this collection, and the song selection was good. Whats interesting about this release is how it sounds. It appears that many of these tunes were re-recorded or massively re-mastered. Fearfully and Wonderfully and Dry Your Tears sound slicker and dramatically slower than their urgent original versions. Is this what happens when music leaves California for a Nashville release? For some of these songs it helps, but for many it polishes off some of that cool edge. (DV)
TWO OR MORE Walking on the Water (Pamplin) This slick-sounding band has a sound that marries arena rock with the CHR (40 year old female Christian radio listeners) genres. With a vocalist who sounds uncannily like John Schlitt at times, this former Star Song outfit produces a clean and melodic sound not too unlike The Brave or Def Leppard mostly the fore-mentioned bands quieter moments. One of the highlights here that will probably get some Christian radio airplay, ironically, is a cover of the Extreme song Holehearted. The bands harmonies treat the song well. (Just dont tell Nuno Bettencourt that his named is spelled Numo in the liner notes!)
While rockers need to know theyre
not going to get their energy quota, fans of prog rock are going
to hear some beautiful vocals in a couple tunes, like the title
tracks chorus and Holehearted. Producers John
& Dino definitely have a knack for refining polished sounds
like this. (DV)
THREE CROSSES Skinny Flowers (Benson) This talented Southern rock band have a talent for writing good songs. Tunes like Blue Motel and Maybe Tonight blend clean and simple melodies a la The Eagles with the Delta sounds of the Hammond B-3 organ, slide guitars and shakers producing a full and wide sound. They dont ever git down with a guitar onslaught a la Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Outlaws, because they opt for the more soulful and laid-back Southern style. Its a step in the right direction away from the syrupy CCM sounds of a Steven Curtis Chapman without sounding dangerous or too edgy. The song structures, however, help make this band very listenable. Classic rock radio could easily embrace tunes like I Have Never Seen The Wind or the sentimental Seeds of Sorrow
Its weird to review Embodyment and Three Crosses in the same issue or the same magazine, but you cant argue with songwriting this good. (DV)
THE CALL To Heaven and Back (Cadence / Fingerprint) The Call what a mighty group. Defining passion and a big influence on indie rock, this band takes a few unexpected turns on an otherwise typically great Call album. Instead of the pulsating dirty Midwest meets depression rock sound of the bands past, theres actually some pop-influenced on the opening cut, Soaring Bird. The ballad Think It Over takes a melancholy approach that contrasts wildly with the almost new wave-ish Musta Been Outta My Mind. The ship steers back on course quickly, as songs like Criminal and Love Is Everywhere will attest. The standout cut is easily the slow but passionate Become America, which has been played out for awhile by the band and also appeared on the Best Of album that came out last year.
Often thought of as a sort of sister band to U2 and The Alarm, All You Hold On To almost sounds like an Achtung Baby era song. Its strange to see The Call on a Christian market label, especially with a solid performance like this. Youd think the band couldve gotten a much sweeter deal with material this good. (DV)
LANNY CORDOLA Salvation Medicine Show (KMG) Partly due to non-existent marketing and push, and partly due to Lannys prolific songwriting abilities, I feel like Ive blinked a few times and missed half a dozen of this guys albums. Heres another one that almost slipped through the cracks into quick obscurity Salvation Medicine Show. On this 15-song collection, Lanny once again pays deep respect and tribute to his blues forefathers. Relying on steel, acoustic, and electric guitars as well as various other stringed instruments (dobro, banjo, ukulele) Lanny puts together a rustic, laid-back album that reads like a backwoods hymnal If I Ever Needed Someone (penned by Van Morrison), Last Call, and Eulogy for a Friend. Quite a contrast from the blistering electric licks on Tony Palacios solo album, but full of quality songs showing rocks roots without rocking. In fact, some of these tunes, like Confessions, could cross over into Country radio. (DV)
Various Pick of the Litter, Vol. 2 (HM Records)
[Taken from a virtual chatroom]
Spiny Norman: Rackets & Drapes rule!
Little Frankie: Yeah, theyre okay, but I wanna hear some hardcore!
SN: Give it a rest! Engage (fka Solomons Porch) is on here!
LF: One song? Is that all the hardcore there is?! Plus, the sonics are terrible! And they use the word whore. I thought this was a Christian album. I like the quirky Stinkfish by Mines Clarence, but the Groove tune sounds too much like Bush. And what about metal? I wanna hear metal!
SN: You go, girl. Check out His Majesty, The Moshketeers, and Eternal Decision.
LF: And dont forget Michael Sweet! This Truth song sounds better than anything from his two solo albums!
SN: I agree, but Rackets & Drapes still rule!
LF: Veer Chasm is cool along those lines, too. I just cant get my eyes off the front cover.
SN: Thats the editors wife, stupid!
LF: Im talking about the cat, Spiny!
SN: The big question, Franklin, is Will you buy this album?
LF: I dont have to, I got it free for writing this review with you. But ten bucks isnt a whole lot to ask for 14 songs.
THE WEDNESDAYS American Midnight (Tooth & Nail) This label put out a fun 5-song 7 here, showcasing the cowpunk rock-a-billy and blues of The Wednesdays. The highlights are Bloodsucker and What You Wanted. The title track suffers a bit from an approach that could be described as tired blues, and Conformity features a weak vocal performance. 3 out of 5 aint bad. (DV)
CREED My Own Prison (Wind-Up) I cant tell you how many letters & emails weve received here, asking, Is Creed a Christian band? Vocalist Scott Stapp said it best when he was recently on the show Politically Incorrect: Were not a Christian rock band. People say that because I like to write about God.
The first indication people got that something was up with this band was when their first single, the albums title track, started getting heavy radio airplay on mainstream stations all over the country. Lyrics like, See a vision of a cross / I feel the pain that was given . . . only he holds the key / A light to free me from my burden / And grant me life eternally . . . I cry out to God / Seeking only his decision. Sounds like music I like to hear! But the latest single, Whats This Life For, thrice screams: Dont have to settle no God (bleep) score! Hmm. I hate hearing the Lords Name in vain, but I love Creeds music. (DV)
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