2020 IVM Reviews

Gone Hazel My last review of 2020 & yet another band from the archives! This band was extremely hard to track down. Heard this song Daybreak on an indie Christian website/station back while stationed in the military. My guess is that this song was released during the old mp3.com download days. It took me probably 15 years before I tracked down a hard copy. There is another band called Gone Hazel, but I do not believe it is the same band. Anyways, finally got a hold of this 2 song demo release on Ebay from a seller whom I am guessing used to be a DJ as was selling rare stuff such as promotional releases from artists.  The other song The Great Evil has a more rockier flair. Hope you like this one as is pretty catchy, but alas pretty rare.

Tiller Paul Here’s another obscure band from the archives. First heard them on an indie Christian rock station/website. Seems to have an Americana/rock flair. They appear to have a full length called Flicker that was released in 1999, but I have not heard that one (but, totally just ordered)! I picked up 2 of their EPs (Self-titled & The Lazy I Sessions” for a high price back several years ago. Anyways, this song is catchy & I dig it & hope you do also!

August Burns Red How many of y’all like covers? Well, ABR has done several & have made them into their own metalcore sound. Covering songs from Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Saves the Day & The Legend of Zelda, Nofx, tons of Christmas ones & now System of a Down, they are always welcome to my ears. Apparently, they played this one during soundcheck before their shows tons before finally deciding to do a cover. It is also one that they showcase more of their clean vocals than before. The single was released December 15th on Fearless Records which is the label that has brought us music from Starset, The Color Morale, Blessthefall, Wage War, Classic Case, The Almost & my fave band of all time, Underoath. Saw the band several years ago as they toured with Killswitch Engage in Charlotte, NC. It was cool to see their vocalist who was from a city I used to live in, Columbia South Carolina. He actually said hello to his mother whom was there that night!  The song has also been covered as a parody by Apologetix going by the name of Downer of a Sister. Anyways, hope you like ABR’s take. I certainly do!

Krig is a Brazilian band with obvious death metal tendencies. They have been around since 2007 & have released a few albums including now 2 cover LPs . The production is stellar for death metal projects imho. I happened to stumble upon this today & am digging their take on classics from Bloodgood, Megadeth, Messiah Prophet, Trouble & one of my fave bands of all time (lyrically & musically), Tourniquet. The song Ark of Suffering actually was banned by MTV back in the day. The song features Karl Walfridsson who is Pantrokrator’s vocalist. Enjoy

Broken Here’s another obscure band for ya! Broken released one LP on Mercy Street Records which had a small yet diverse array of artists: Real (Nu metal), Popcorn (rap), one of Seventh Day Slumber’s early releases & Salt (Southern rock). Broken has a hard hitting heavy rapcore/nu-metal sound. They released 3 songs to indie Christian rock/loud radio: Beautiful, Stand & Cage. My fave was the 1st track which had lyrics like “beautiful the blood shed for me”. It’s no disguise that this is a full on “Christian” band. The song itself starts off with some dj scratching & then crescendos into rapped vocals w/ a lilttle of the nu-metal screaming towards the end.

Rhonda Gunn is a singer/songwriter that has been around since 1995. I admit I did not hear her music til more recently (around 2 years ago) when a station/website called Crossroads started playing her music. Since then I have heard music from 2 other albums Forgiveness & I Wonder. My musical tastes are very eclectic & so I started searching & found she is even on the Frontline Records site & is an outstanding songwriter who has has penned songs for Dallas Holm & Heirloom. Her music sounds adult contemporary with some rock underlinings with her soaring vocals sounding (at least to me) like a cross between Carrie Underwood & dare I say it, Sandi Patty. Well fast forward & I bought her latest cd recently & even spoke with her on Facebook. Billy Smiley (of White Heart fame & who produced my acquaintances from high school band The Normals) produced the project. The song featured here has a southern rock tone. Enjoy!

Animal Couch I try & find obscure bands for these reviews so others can enjoy a lost song/band like I do. Animal Couch is one of those. I first heard their music through my endless digging for Christian music through a long ago website/station called Freerock1). Their goth look seems to be both like Wedding Party or Virgin Black, but sound more akin to modern rock. They had released 3 cds which were rare, but Spotify currently carries all: Spare Room Demo, Chocolate Covered Pears & Words To Die By.  They have a music video for Sheep which is listed below. My favorite one is Shoes. Both songs come from the demo.

Beanbag How many of y’all remember a hackey sack (the little ball you kicked with your foot & held it on the side of your shoe & sent it up on your head or flipped it to another player in style). Man, in my high school days that was the in-thing! Well, Australia’s Beanbag is named for that little entertainment ball. Saw this 4 piece at Carowinds in South Carolina back in the day. Pretty sure Hangnail, Denison Marrs & Thousand Foot Krutch were there that day also. This They didn’t sound like anything else back then in the Christian market, but one could lump them in with bands like Disciple (My Daddy Can Whip Your Daddy era), Pillar or Gryp I guess. They were rap rock mixed with a lil nu-metal. They only released one more album before calling it quits as they had a motor vehicle accident which was really sad.  This song Whiplash comes at you in force force with in your face lyrics “Jesus will never let you go”. Take that for the first lyrics I heard from this band!  The song was originally done on their earlier LP Guttersnipe (which I personally have not heard). Crank it!

Raspberry Jam is one of the earliest Christian alternative rock bands when alternative was such a genre. Heard their music through an indie rock station out of Springfield, MO while I was visiting fiends back in the early-mid 90s. This same station is where I discovered other greats such as Cloud2Ground, The Violet Burning & The Prayer Chain (the later 2 who evolved from the same southern California scene as Raspberry).  The band released and EP & 3 LPs before disbanding. Released on Metro One Records in 1993 (the same label who brought us Spoken & Precious Death), the 3rd release Chi-Ro was an alternative rock/funk hybrid with 2 vocalists: Phillip Kim & Angel Short. Their Oceanic release transpired into an ethereal dreamlike esque alternative rock. The track represented in this article is Everything We Need which was different from the others with yelled in your face vocals that was kind of a mix between spoken word & rap. Seeming to derive from the rich man story in the Gospels of Matthew 19:16-30, Mark 10:17-30 and Luke 18:18-30, the quirky verse lyrics deal with the subject of selfishness & how we work with what God has given us begging several questions. Are we spoiled?  What are we going to do with our God given gifts & talents?  Does the Lord give is what we need? Check out these provocative lyrics: “Is it really wrong to buy what I don’t need. I mean I know there are starving children in Africa or somewhere far away, but what am I going to do? Sell everything that I have-give it to the poor. What am I? The Rich man? What do you mean? It’s my money. I worked hard for my money. I deserve to live how I want. It’s my money. I mean, ok sure God gave me the money, but it’s my money. It has my name on the check. It’s my money.

Reflescent Tide is one of the first Christian rock bands I heard of way back in the mid 90s. There was a college show out of the University of Illinois that had a DJ that would play all kinds of music I had never heard of. The 3 piece band out of Canada had a 2 cd career. Their follow up actually had a music video which is grainy on YouTube They do not look like rock stars akin to most music released at the time. They just looked like normal dudes with French last names. Photo shoots after their first cd shows they cut most of their long hair off! They also had a cover of Rich Mullin’s Hold Me Jesus on The Mother of All Tribute Albums. Singer Jeff has a gravelly rock voice that is very distinct. So this first cd was a doozy & was bought on cassette at the time. The music genre is driving hard rock. The cover looks like an older gentleman holding some bread. Released by Rugged Records in 1995 (same label that brought us Disciple & Wyrick, amongst many others), the 12 track runtime is 53 minutes 8 seconds. Pretty impressive for a debut imho. This was an interesting time in Christian music as alternative, metal, funk, punk, arena rock & hard rock bands all found their way onto regular Christian rock charts. There is not one clunker here. Starting right off the gate with rocker Wasted Me, I saw this song actually pop up on old music charts such as 7Ball Magazines. Man can Jeff sing! Was included in a couple compilation cds also. Next up comes Home which seemed out of place as 2nd track as the tempo slowed down, but picks up at the chorus. It also is the longest track coming in at 6:09. Came The Time is a classic & is the first song I heard from them all those years ago. Mindpen has a doomy feel. Distant is a ballad which I completely understand about feeling so far from YHWH at times. Coffee is a mid rocker/ballad. Slipping Through My Hands has gotta be the most aggressive song. Listen to the first 10 seconds & you will understand. Gluepot is another classic & makes me sing along. Weekly Reader is another classic that just rocks. Broken is another favorite & remains one of my favorite rock worship songs. Finding Your Way is another one that should have been all over the radio. Last, but not least, is Your Lead which lyrical prowess reminds me of letting go & letting God & following His lead no matter how difficult that might be. All in all, most of these songs should have found their way on regular radio. Their singer & drummer continued in music as soloists & have music out there on the web. Here is the 3rd track Came The Time.

The Violet Burning So this post is my response to one of my fave 90’s bands. TVB is imho a cross between The Smashing Pumpkins, The Prayer Chain & alternative worship music. Michael Pritzl’s voice & lyrics are a stark example of what made worship music exciting & caused at least listeners like me to think of our Savior & want to lift my hands & heart in worship. (Check out my fave song by them The Only One.) TVB is one of a few bands in my collection that I have collected most, if not all, their music. The band itself has had a myriad of musicians over the years ranging from Sam West (Stavesacre, Saviour Machine), Jeff Schroeder (Dakoda Motor Co, The Smashing Pumpkins, Breakfast With Amy) & Eddie Fisher (OneRepublic) just to name a few. They released newer music a few years back to crowdfund another album, but it hasn’t come to fruition just yet. I myself had donated & here is to hoping it will eventually get released.  And in the spirit of the season, yes, they also have a Christmas album. Hope you like this rocker (no pun intended) from 2011’s 3 disc release The Story Of Our Lives

Rottweiler Records 2020 Christmas compilation I know it’s not Christmas yet, but in the spirit of the season, Shawn Browning’s Rottweiler Records released their yearly Christmas compilation back on November 24, 2020. I remember seeing various Facebook posts about the upcoming project & is up on Rottweiler’s Bandcamp page. Consisting of 20 songs, this comp is sure to satisfy most hard subgenre lovers. The lead track For Unto Us is Malaysian band Shamash who actually released their first EP recently. Coming in on track 2 is progressive rockers Mawcore (formerly known as Blushing Well) with vocalist Joshua Redding who is pretty active on social media so it was nice seeing them here. I’ve also been seeing a lot of posts regarding who the best bassist, drummer, vocalist, etc is during the pandemic & Rex Carroll is commonly listed as one of the best guitarists. His version of Carol of the Bells is track 4. Saving Jackie (newer band with a female vocalist) does their take with Winter Wonderland. 3 Days Under has released some great tunes the past couple years & their Christmas Medley is rocking. Shawn’s own Graverobber comes in on track 6. Chicago’s goth Leper’s version of Silent Night comes in on track 7. Have seen & hug with Leper a few times at Audiofeed so was nice to see them on here. Track 8’s comes from Georgia’s Dire who puts on a rocking show (I can attest as I have seen them as well). Industrial artist David Pataconi gives us his take on What Child Is This. Timoratus has put out a bunch of recent tuneage & comes in on their original Christmas Present Chaos on track 12. Punk rawk band Dispraised is featured on Track 14. Death Metallers Mangled Carpenter brings us their version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen on track 17. There are a few artists I have seen on other Rottweiler Christmas comps but nowhere else such as They Act Human & Derek Close. All in all, check this comp out & prepare to headbang while understanding the words as you hum/scream/growl along! Have a joyous holiday! Here is the lead track from Shamash

Leaderdogs For The Blind One of my all time fave releases, Lemonade, was from a band released by the defunct R.E.X. Music. Forming circa 1993, the 4 band members had changed their name from Leaderdogs to add For The Blind. They blew Christian indie music lovers away with an industrial/hard rock hybrid with iconic songs such as Yellow & Black Attack (no, not the Stryper album!), Better Ways, Ripple & Supersaturated. They followed up with The Resurrect Me EP that included other the greats Pollinate & Lie You Buy. Then, boom, that was it. In the meantime, Grant Mohrman has been busty with producing, writing & arranging music for artists such as Republica & Celldweller. It’s been 20+ years & as of November 3rd, 2020, that wait has just ended with their latest EP Feel This. Here is the first track called Restless.

Weathered Facedown Records indie rock band Weathered’s first & latest single Quick Tempered from their upcoming album lyrical content is simply some of the most profound lyrics that I’ve seen in a while.  They seem to align with my favorite Bible verse that I have tattooed on my arm. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Here are the lyrics up until the bridge. I tried going a whole day without taking Your name in vain cause someone told me it means so much more than some quick tempered phrase. Do I even want to know my worst offense only discoverable looking through your lens? A quick tempered man does a foolish thing, but what do You say about the man who sings about his past like he won’t go back? If feels like a lawyers touch to make my case against the judge to get away with everything I’ve done and end up above? Will You give me the strength to fight myself every step of the way? Will you show me the length of my evil days? Pickup their new album Everything All At Once set to be released next week. Their latest single In This World was released this past Friday.

Rackets & Drapes Rackets is the best shock rock band imho with loyal fans called Therapy Patients. Led by vocalist Kandy Kane (Kiffany), they have definitely had a controversial impact on the Christian music industry & have been repeatedly listed as sounding akin to Marilyn Manson. Starting out in 1994, they formed under the name Human Soup. Many years have passed & they have released more recent music akin to their first 2 albums. The first was released under the moniker of A Violent System with this new one back to Rackets & Drapes. I have been talking with Kiffany since the MSN messenger days circa 1998 & have had the joy/opportunity to hear both songs before being officially released. The 4 band members (Kiffany, Rabbit, Battz Belfry & Stykzen Stones hail from Colorado & Louisiana & are currently working towards an EP coming soon. This new one gives an 80s vibe & releases to most digital platforms by Saturday. Check it out!

As We Are So I had a chance to meet these guys while I was recording a sound byte from their record label owner for my online radio station a few years ago at Audiofeed Festival in Central Illinois. Wow, has their style changed. I would have classified As We Are’s (stylized sometimes as AsWeARe or just plain AWA) sound as pop punk, but with a rock twist a few years back when they came out with their self-titled EP. The 3 member band consists of drummer Caden (drums), vocalist/guitarist Dale & bassist Eli. Their latest song Paralyzed takes on a much different approach. It is a straight up heavy rock song with some screamed vocals sprinkled in. Not sure if the sound is a one-off, but my guess is that they are preparing for a full-length & it will be a barn burner.
Check it out & turn up you speakers (at home of course, not work)!

Lust Control So this track is one of my favorite songs of all time. There are a couple different versions out there, but the one off We Are Not Ashamed is my go to. I remember hearing this song for the first time circa 1993 on a University of Illinois indie Christian rock/metal show whose DJ introduced me to greats such as Living Sacrifice, Reflescent Tide, The Clergy amongst many others at the time. Lust Control’s background can be found on many other sites, but what I liked about this specific song is the in your face lyrics & the romping punk music. The song starts off with drums & a bass guitar until the guitar kicks in towards the chorus. HM aka Heaven’s Metal magazine’s editor Doug Van Pelt (whom I interviewed in college) is on lead vocals & that alone is worth the listen as Doug has done an awesome job over the years with our music niche. For anyone who has dealt with what is now known as men’s sexual integrity, this is one of the best on the subject (or at least the funnest (no pun intended). Lyrically, the song talks about controlling our lust (get it!), with the bridge’s lyrics being “The legs, the hair, I’m caught in a snare, satan has found my weakness, but greater is He who is in me than he who is in the girls!” Take a listen & try not to nod your head…I double dog dare you!

Mattie Montgomery So Mattie is not a soloist per se. He is the former dreaded frontman for disbanded metalcore bands For Today & Besieged. He branched out & has 3 prophetic teaching CDs that are basically short sermons set to music. He currently serves as the pastor of a ministry he founded called The Altar Fellowship.Here are the lyrics for his 2nd sermon from his first album, Restless What is my destiny? What is God’s plan for me? Who was I made to be?Now, these are questions that are in every one’s heart. As Christians, we throw around this concept of warfare or contention without ever establishing a goal or an ultimate purpose. We must have vision of a higher calling than simply resisting sin. If what it means to be devoted to the gospel of Jesus Christ is to get up on Sunday mornings, and to do your best not to say a couple of cuss words, then you’ve missed it. We must catch God’s vision of what it truly means to struggle for the sake of Christ and for the establishment of the kingdom of Heaven. Isaiah 62 says, “You who call on the name of the Lord give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” And so what are we fighting for? To see the body of Christ, the church, establish to the outside world as a shelter from this hell on earth. What does it mean if you pastor a church of a hundred thousand people, but there is still no hope for a pregnant teenage girl in your city. And what does it mean, if people are coming from all over to your meetings if suicide is still devastating our generation and over 33 million people are dying from aids right now. Listen to what I’m about to say to you: The only reason we live in a fallen world is because we live in a fallen culture, but take heart, because cultures can be changed. All creation groans in anticipation for the sons of God to be revealed. Creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glory’s freedom of the children of God. Romans 8 says that creation itself will be brought unto the glory’s freedom of the children of God. On the cross, when the wrath of God was satisfied, Jesus Christ established for us sons-ship in heaven. We are now divine beings, heirs to the thrown of God and all creation has been groaning in anticipation of that moment. In the name of Jesus Christ, under the authority of Father God and the  leading of his Holy Spirit, I declare that my generation will exercise authority over creation. Over cancer, over aids, over natural disasters, and over death itself. We will stand firm in who we are as children of the most high God. And we operate under an ancient authority to the end of injustice. All creation has come together for this single moment! For this time, to watch, and to wait, to hold it’s breath in anticipation, to see what will come of your time here on earth. To see if in your days you will align yourself with destiny and God and with your inheritance of holiness, because if you do, if you can, you will unleash a tide of hope that will sweep across our generation and that will change everything forever. All creation will be restored to glory, and the twinkling of an eye, like a thief in the night, black will become white, and up will become down. The servant of all will be made the greatest, and the ? of a slave will receive the reward of his suffering. And as he reigns, in justice and righteousness forever, that you will be at his side. Restless ones, arise! Take your place in a new paradigm of restlessness. Will God not bring justice for those of his elect for those who cry out to him, day and night? And so we cry out, saying, God, send your spirit, God, send it out for us, God send us as the end of injustice.

Gryp Fresno, Cali nu-metal band Gryp (fronted by educator Curtis Shamlin) is epic imho. First heard this band’s firt release Indecision while checking out demos at a defunct Christian bookstore in Bloomington, IL & I was immediately hooked. It was different than what was out in 1997 in the Christian realm with staples Ungrateful, Heal Me Back & You Were There. I remember being on their street team when they released their ep Left Behind while stationed in the military in Columbia, SC. I was so excited and gave out numerous CD singles & stickers while hanging out at New Brookland Tavern with numerous bands such as SF59, MeWithoutYou, Underoath, etc… & was having an awesome time being on fire for YHWH. Here are the lyrics to their first single Against The Crowd. This song is still very relevant today.LyricsAlmost everyday.
I hear the things they say.
Always being rude.
Going with the multitude.
I pray you to keep me strong.
I know what’s right and wrong.
Keep me from lashing out.
Go against the crowd.:
Go against the crowd.
Go against the crowd.
Go against the…
Go against the…
Go against the crowd.
Go against the crowd.
Go against the crowd.
Go against the…
Go against the…
Go against the crowd.You need to make a change.
You need to rearrange.
You can’t be like them.
You gotta be different.
No more foul words.
No more racial slurs.
No more giving in.
Go against the crowd…

Symphony of Heaven Here is a nice adult contemporary Sunday SOTD for ya…NOT!!!! This artist consists of an acquaintance of mine Logan Thompson who started solo back in 2016 who hails from Indiana, USA. What drew this fan twas the name & the debut single In Anger’s Midst. Since then, I hung out with most of the band members at my local festival Audiofeed (which is what Cornerstone festival became). Covid has deterred us Christian metal heads from hanging out again this year. His patch “WE are Metal, We Are Family” refers to Pastor Bob’s Sanctuary International. Shawn from Rottweiler Records did an awesome job signing SOH & each of the 3 releases has ‘believe it or not”, a different sound of unblack metal to them. Fast forward to August 2020 & Logan has gathered 3 full-fledged members: Mason (drummer) from Bearded Dragon Productions (a record label), David from Timōrātus & Eros from Renascent. That’s the lineup in the video you are about to see from the second single (the first being Ye Shall Be as gods) to their upcoming EP The Ascension of Extinction. The quoted scripture is from 2 Thessalonians 2.

Apologetix The band that just keeps on parodying hit after hit! I have been a follower of this parody band for at least 15 years or so. They take mainstream songs and compose Biblical lyrics & release 2 songs per month. The name of the band stems from 1 Peter 3:15 & is a derivative of the word apologetics which means “defense of the Christian faith. The past few years they have been churning out 2 songs at once even with female vocals. Their massive discography covers songs from System of a Down to The Beatles to Eminem to Ozzy. Their website is well worth the visit http://www.apologetix.com/ also & touches on various Christian resources. Their most recent release consists of covers from Hole & Trisha Yearwood. No matter what genre you listen to, vocalist Joshua Jackson has mad skills to cross it. Here is “Celebrity (s)Kin!

The Walter Eugenes  Besides having the two most awesome two names put together at one time, this band rocked. The two man band was Walter Paul Robinette & Rick Eugene May! At a time when alternative music had taken a major foothold in Christian music (starting with Undercover), this group was seen on Christian music television channels with their rockiest song: Crawl. If you haven’t noticed my posts, I tend to look for music that is hard to find to bring back the sounds & lyrics that made me come to enjoy “Christian rock” music. Rick “Eugene” actually played with DC Talk’s band This catchy song is from their debut self-titled LP: Never-Changing Heart & describes the struggle we face to become Christ-like. The chorus lyrics go “I’m changing my life, I’m changing my mind, I’m falling apart, whoa, but never ever changing heart”.

Jack Of All Trades Finnish rapcore at its finest in the early days of nu-metal. Simply said, this is one of the most high Finnish rapcore at its finest in the early days of nu-metal. Simply said, this is one of the most high energy bands imho ever (just see the video for their song “Point of No Return”). It seems they did not keep the same label as each release was through a different one. Having formed in 1997, their debut LP (aptly titled) <em>RU Ready</em> was released on Bullroser (the Finnish label responsible for releasing several musical heavyweight artists such as Deuteronomium & HB) in 1999. They released a few singles & EPs before releasing their 2002 monster <em>Superior</em>. The disbanded in 2002, but tried a new vocalist which did not give to fruition it appears. They did some reunion shows before ending for real in 2005. This is the first track off <em>Superior </em>(& my personal fave) “Postpone”.

PsoulPatch Another rarity from the archives, this early nu metal band released one EP back in 2001 called A Trip To Southern Metal, but must have had another release as Last.fm shows a few other songs not from that album. They had a sound akin to Pantera, but was a bit muddy with downtuned vocals that at times were rapped. They seem to have hailed from Texas and had released music on the old mp3.com and Godcore sites. Hope you like this tune “Bring The Noise” as it reminds me of Metanoia’s Time to Die LP especially “Now Listen Up”!

Jesus Music  One might think of the term Jesus Music as the early days of Christian music originating from the Jesus movement. But, Jesus Music the band is one that released 2 albums in the late 90s: Flowers in the Storm & 3D. Their music is upbeat quirky fun music reminiscent (at least to me) of Hokus Pick. Their second album produced a cover of Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild”. Both albums even have dance remixes (90s style) if that doesn’t get you stoked.  Here is their very first radio single & the first track to the first LP “The Box”.

Real  The band released one LP 2001’s Breathe on the short lived Mercy Street Records that also released Seventh Day Slumber’s first 2 LP’s & 2 little known band’s: Broken (rap core) & Salt (southern rock).  Real’s sound could be described as nu-metal with a hard rock twist. Not much can be found on the band, but from sites listing the CD for sale. Consisting of 11 tunes, the band rocks hard and is one of my favorite albums from the early 2000s. Indie stations had played a few of the songs Breathe, Let It Be & Downfall. Let us know in the comments if anyone saw the band live or knows more about them! Here is my fave Downfall:

Sly’s Alter Ego SAE was a fun short-lived ska/pop punk band from Oklahoma circa early to mid-2000s. Their music has even been referred to as “skip hop”! RIYL: They released an EP & a full length on the Thin King Entertainment label which also released music from Awaiting Isaac and Radial Angel.  Their album Less Talky Talky, More Rocky Rocky is incredibly hard to track down. Every now and then it will be sold on Amazon. Finally got a hold of my copy a few weeks ago! The band’s songs consist of titles such as Hey, Look At You Yo, Rice Krispies and also a rocking cover of Kris Kross’s Jump!. Their Christian faith is shown in their liner covers as well as their song lyrics and interviews they had done. I was able to speak with Kyle Simmons (vocals & bass) six months ago and they had since changed their band name to Rockwell Social and play just pop punk currently. He hooked me up with some of their old demos also which was very cool. This is their song Whoa

Gears of Redemption Oklahoma’s Gears of Redemption is Nu-metal at its finest imho. RIYL: Korn, These 5 Down, etc… Complete with a thumping bass guitar, driving drums & angst ridden vocals, this 4 piece band brings the controlled chaos. 2000’s The War of Blood & Rust (released by Godfather records) was the only album to emerge before the band disbanded. The rockier indie Christian shows showcased This Is Me, Shedding Skin & My Life in their playlists. Their song No Time found its way on Cross Rhythms Extreme Music Sampler Vol 4.  One can still access their old Angelfire homepage which has the bio for their bass player which I find to be one of the best in the genre. This is their song My Life

Azusa So it has been messing with my head this band Azusa & how I think I know whom they sound like. I know the band is composed of members from The Dillinger Escape Plan (whom I saw live many years ago), Absurd2, Frodus, Arvinger, & lo & behold-Extol, Mantric & Benea Reach! This band is like a female vocal version of those 3 latter bands & has released 7 singles so far. Solid State Records truly knows how to find awesome music IMHO. Eleni Zafiradou is (believe it or not) a pop vocalist, but she screams like the best of my fave female vocalist fronted bands (Your Chance to Die & Bloodlined Calligraphy). She does not growl though on anything I have heard yet.  If you like your vocals screeched & your music progressive while still being extreme, look no further! Interstellar Islands captures the essence of this band’s vocals & musicianship quite well.

Fluffy was a garage grunge band heralding from Mike Knott’s Blonde Vinyl Record label. Guitarist Chris Colbert has remastered both of their full lengths recently and are available on many digital platforms. The record label Lost In Ohio is running these repressing & have a few cool pressing including The Julies & Black & White World. I bought their first Go, Fluffy, Go Cd back in the 90s & had no idea what I was in store for. I was treated to lots of feedback fuzz & gritty vocals that reminded me at the time of a cross between Smashing Pumpkins & Nirvana. Track 2 just had a cool name & an interim easy solo complete with some type of keys added. Have fun this Father’s Day!

Vagabond 12 was a brief rap rock band which reminds this listener of Broken Yoke and NOT the heavier rapcore music made known by bands such as EDL or Jack Of All Trades. They seem to have only released a two song single before fading into obscurity. But the 2 songs are very radio friendly with rapped vocal hooks laden within acoustic guitars. Crystal Clear (the rockier of the 2) found is way on an indie show out of Florida, but research shows the 4 man band out of Greenville, South Carolina . If anyone knows more, relay a message in the comments. I bought my Cd copy off of EBay for a pretty price from a seller who must have been in radio at some point as the seller had several obscure Christian indie singles. Hope you like it as I have over the years!

Whitman’s Mold was a brief rapcore band reminiscent of American Made. Hailing from my old stomping grounds in South Carolina, I first heard of them on a Christian indie rock show. Their 1999 LP was released on DTS after they released their first demo in 1998 on cassette. DTS comprised an eclectic artist list ranging from Paul Noel Stookey to .hopesfall! Their driving song “Kingdom” from that LP <em>Nobody Loves Me</em> explodes with the line I Wanna Go… To Heaven! Enjoy

DigHayZoose was one of those outlier alternative bands in the Christian music industry. One could describe their music as funk metal and did not have much of an equivalent in the Christian market alas Scaterd Few with a sound akin to Jane’s Addiction or Red Hot Chili Peppers, but in a much harder vein. The 4 man band only put out a couple demos and 2 full LPs along with a live album before disbanding.  After disbanding, they released an LP on R.E.X as Hot Pink Turtle. Dancing in Concert with the Infinite is the actual first song on their Magentamantalovetree full length and is a full blown praise & worship rocker!