When I have the chance, I write music reviews for Indie Vision’s website. Here is a compilation of what I have done so far….. SOTD aka Song of the Day & HYEHO aka Have You Ever Heard Of
SOTD: Lust Control-Mad At The Girls 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!
HYEHO: 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.
SOTD: Gryp – Against The Crowd 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…
SOTD: Symphony of Heaven-DeathMarch 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.
HYEHO: Apologetix-Celebrity Kin 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!
HYEHO: The Walter Eugenes-Never Changing Heart 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”.
HYEHO: Jack Of All Trades-Postpone 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”.
HYEHO: PsoulPatch-Bring the Noise 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”!
HYEHO:Jesus Music-The Box 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”.
HYEHO:Real-Downfall 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:
HYEHO: Sly’s Alter Ego-Whoa 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
HYEHO: Gears of Redemption-My Life 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
SOTD: Azusa-Interstellar Islands 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.
SOTD: Fluffy-Guitars, Guns & Girls 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!
SOTD: Vagabond 12-Crystal Clear Vagabond12 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!
SOTD: Whitman’s Mold-Kingdom WM 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
SOTD: DigHayZoose- Dancing In Concert With The Infinite 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!