Category Archives: Album Reviews

Ep. 39 – New this (now last) semester (part 2) – Jan. 6th, 2009

Here’s a few more album i got during the tail end of 2008 that i am just now getting on here… I know, i know… i have no excuse…

“Save me from Myself” – Brian “Head” Welch

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I heard about this guy awhile back and downloaded some free tracks from his myspace.  They were ok, but I didn’t really get into them.  A few years later now, he’s come out with an entire album, and I have to say it’s better than his earlier stuff.    Now, you may not know who this guy is, but you have probably heard of his former band: Korn.  Yes, that Korn.  He was there guitarist and he accepted Christ and left the band.  His band-mates were really cool about it.  From the lyrical content of his music I can tell that he has really taken his faith serious and matured greatly.  It’s really encouraging to see.  The album, though not the best I’ve ever heard, is not bad at all.  It still reflects that eerie quality that Korn was famous for, but the album features a great addition: HOPE.  Not a bad venture from mister Head.  Not bad at all.

Genre: Metal / Rap Rock / Industrial
Christian or Secular?: Christian

Track-listing:
1. L.O.V.E.
2. Flush
3. Loyalty
4. Re-Bel
5. Home
6. Save Me From Myself
7. Die Religion Die
8. Adonai
9. Money
10. Shake
11. Washed By Blood

Price Paid: $14.30


“Doubt becomes the new addiction” – Flee the Seen

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I got this when I came home for thanksgiving weekend.  I went in record time and found this in the clearance section.  I listened to it in the store and decided to go for it.  I really like it now that I’ve had a chance to listen to it for a while.  I’m am usually skeptical of female fronted rock bands, but I have to say these guys (and girl 😉 ) are one of the best I’ve heard so far; and the best I’ve heard in their genre I think.  It’s very scene hardcore / emo-core but not annoying.  I like the album a lot.  Lyrically they tackle some pretty good issues; the one that sticks out in my mind is the fact that our culture is so obsessed with the self, and so consumer focused. (Track: “Right before you Disappear”)  Some pretty good writing lyrically as well, sighting the same song as an example, check out some of the lyrics:

“Prioritize the purchases
Fist clench the receipts that
Keep you accountable
That make your life make sense, to make cents
I have this so I am this”

I have to say, I picked a pretty good one for never having heard these guys before.  Well worth it.

Genre: Scene / Hardcore / Emo-core
Christian or Secular?: Christian
Track-listing:
1. Celebrate the Static
2. Wardrobe Full of Fiction
3. Do You Think Dallas Is Still in the Slammer
4. I’ll Be Back on Sunday
5. November 5th
6. Wire Tap Out
7. Broken Thoughts of Praise
8. Interlude
9. Right Before You Disappear
10. Start the End Again
11. 300 Voices at Liberty Hall

Price Paid: $2

“45 Days” – Demon Hunter

This is a new 2 DVD 1 CD box-set from one of my favorite metal bands; Demon Hunter.  The first DVD is a film about Demon Hunter; it’s an artistic documentary about them touring and their fans and such.  It’s really cool.  The second DVD is a live concert and the CD is the original music from the film.  A good set all in all, recommended for the serious Demon Hunter fan.

Genre: Metal
Christian or Secular?: Christian
CD Track-listing:

  1. “Closing In” – 2:21
  2. “Turn Loose the Hounds” – 4:08
  3. “Ours Alone” – 6:35
  4. “The Deep” – 2:00
  5. “Dust and Smoke” – 3:21
  6. “Purified In The Storm” – 7:03
  7. “The Scars We Don’t See” 2:48
  8. “Perseverance” 7:23
  9. “Fading Away (Acoustic Version)” – 4:18
  10. “Carry Me Down (Piano Version)” – 4:35

Price Paid: $28.99

“Dial M” – Starflyer 59

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Jason Martin never dissapoints.  Seriously, I know i’ve said it before but it’s true.  His newest release, “Dial M,” has been well worth the wait since “My Island” which I got a couple years ago.  There is not a single song on Dial M that is bad.  Jason’s sound continues to evolve and it seems that everything he puts his hand to turns to gold.  This album takes a somewhat new direction but still delivers a great sound.  It’s a very hard to describe sound, but trust me, it’s good…  If you’ve never given Starflyer 59 a listen before, this would not be a bad album to start with as long as you understand that no two sf59 albums are alike.  Give it a try, seriously.  You can get a taste of the sound over at his myspace.  Then buy the album.

Genre: Indie Rock
Christian or Secular?: Christian
Track-listing:

  1. “Minor Keys”
  2. “The Brightest Of The Head”
  3. “Concentrate”
  4. “Who Said It’s Easy?”
  5. “M23”
  6. “Taxi”
  7. “Automatic”
  8. “Altercation”
  9. “Mr. Martin”
  10. “I Love You Like The Little Bird”

Price Paid: $10 (I think, I can’t quite remember, I bought it new at Record Time thankgiving weekend.)

So their you have it, a few more of my final aquisitions of 2008, if i think of anymore i’ll be sure to post them…

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Ep. 37 – New This Semester (part 1) – 16 December, 2008

So as you loyal readers know, I’ve had a very busy semester.  18 credits is quite a load.  That doesn’t leave much time for things like work, or updating blogs.  That resulting in a few things; it reduced the rate at which i could acquire new music due to lack of funds, and it prevented me from keeping this sight updated well.  I did buy a good number of CD’s over this semester, but by now i might not remember in exactly what order i got them, so i will just review them as i think of them and get you guys back up to speed.  I will review a few today and a few more at later dates until i get you guys caught up.

“Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat” – The Juliana Theory

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I was in Record Time around a month or two ago during one of my brief trips back home this semester and i stumbled across this album on the clearance rack.  I had never heard a song off this album and the only previous experience i had with the Juliana Theory was their album “Love” which, as i wrote before, grew on me over time.  I thought i would give it a listen before buying it and after hearing only the first track i decided it’d be worth it.  Now I’ve had considerable time to listen to this album and i have to say it is amazing!  I really like “Love” but frankly, this album is a cut above their previous work.  The subject matter is a bit darker, fittingly it follows the album “Love” with subject matter of things that are post-love like regret, break-ups etc.  The music is just a bit more abrasive to fit with the slightly jaded lyrics but it really pulls you in!   So many of the songs are so catchy you just can’t help singing along with them, especially “Leave like a Ghost (Drive Away)” which is my favorite track on the album.  All in all, this is a solid release that leaves you hungry for more!

Tracklisting:

01. This Is A Lovesong For The Loveless
02. We Make The Road By Walking
03. Shotgun Serenade
04. Leave Like A Ghost (Drive Away)
05. My Heart Is A Soldier
06. I Love You To Death ( Drive Safe)
07. This Valentine Ain’t No Saint
08. 10,000 Questions
09. The Final Song
10. French Kiss Off

Price Paid: $3

“Dreamer” – Haste the Day

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Haste the Day has always been one of those bands that i’ve really tried to like.  For the longest time i had all of their albums downloaded and i got into one or two of their old songs (like “Long Way Down” in which they sing a lot).  When i heard they were coming out with a new album i went to their myspace site and checked out the new track and i was impressed.  As far as my metal tastes go, i have really moved away from the constant screaming type of stuff.  I still like the energy and intensity of a good scream, but too much just seems to bore me… i need something i can sing along with, i think it’s because i am a singer myself.  That being said, i my honest opinion, “They’re Only Chasing Safety” is the best Underoath album to date, and now Dreamer, the best Haste the Day album.  Their new singer has brought melody into the mix of killer drums and guitar riffs reminiscent of As I Lay Dying.  When i am in the mood to headbang, Dreamer is where i turn at the moment.  The entire album is really well composed, though maybe a bit short.  If you like heavy music, but still enjoy something to sing along with, i suggest giving this a try!

Tracklisting:

  1. “68” – 3:26
  2. “Mad Man” – 3:33
  3. “Haunting” – 4:01
  4. “Resolve” – 2:54
  5. “An Adult Tree” – 5:10
  6. “Babylon” – 3:29
  7. “Invoke Reform” – 3:03
  8. “Sons Of The Fallen Nation” – 3:20
  9. “Labyrinth” – 2:35
  10. “Porcelain” – 3:28
  11. “Autumn” – 3:02

Price Paid: $13.99

Well, that’s enough for now.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Ep. 36 – Ok so i kinda dropped the ball… – 27th Nov. 2008

Not to make excuses but I’ve been really busy this semester… in fact it’s been the busiest one of my college career to date.  That being said, i still should have been able to update this thing once or twice in the last few months…  man I’m a slacker!  OK, well, on to the good news… during the past few months i got somewhere around ten albums… i am going to start updating this blog again with reviews and such soon so look for those.  I’ll even do one now real quick to keep you guys interested… hopefully i can remember how much i paid for all those albums… OK, here goes… I’m back baby!

“The Sleeping House” – Cool Hand Luke


So a few months ago i was surfing the firestream.net forums and i saw a post about Cool Hand Luke.  I just about flipped out when i saw that it was talking about a brand new CHL album!  As far as anyone knew, CHL was dead for good and then all of a sudden they come out with a new album.  Even cooler was that it was made available before it’s actual street release date… all you had to do was order it off the Lujo Records website.  I did it as soon as i could spare the cash and i got the album about mid October.  Oh man!  Not only is CHL back, but they are back in force!  This is such a solid album!  Every song displays their mastery of songwriting combining floating piano melodies with biting bass-lines and guitar riffs that pull it all together into a sea of audial revelry.  Lyrically this band is almost unmatched.  They are not ashamed of Jesus Christ and the subject matter is deep and penetrating.  The way some people write songs you can really tell that they have a grasp on the scriptures.  CHL’s sleeping house offers messages that aren’t the cookie-cutter of the Christian pop scene, but something of real substance!  I hope that this revival is not short lived and that we are graced with at least one more record from this great collection of christian men.

Tracklisting:

1. Fast Asleep
2. Cast Your Bread
3. Failing in Love
4. Buy the Truth
5. The Mirror
6. Eye of the Storm
7. The City Prevails
8. Spirit Sing
9. Wonder Tour
10. The House
11. The Incomprehensible Sleep
12. Wide Awake

Price Paid: $10 + tax

Happy to be back folks, hopefully i’ll have some more reviews for you soon!  (some of those links are a joke, so don’t be offended 😉 )

Ep. 33 – Alchemy and Judaism – Aug 23rd, 2008

A couple days ago i was in meijer picking up a few things and i stopped over in the music section (i need to stop doing that!) I wasn’t surprised that their selection wasn’t very big but i did find something worthwhile!


“The Alchemy Index Vol. 3+4: Air + Earth” – Thrice

Ever since i got the first part of this concept album project a month or two ago i have been keeping my eyes open for this set (the second half). This 2 disc “album” is very good, a total of 12 songs split between two discs – each is dedicated to it’s respective element and each has a different sound. Air is pretty cool. Floaty, ethereal Post-Hardcore is what this disc, but they don’t depart to far from the classic Thrice sound. I haven’t listened to this disc that much thought really because i have been all about the other disc: earth. I do have to mention two songs though. “A Song for Milly Michaelson,” the third track on this disc is one of my favorites on the album. Simple acoustic guitar and vocals. In the background one can hear a haunting wind sound and faint wind-chimes. Minimal percussion adds to the depth and feel of the song. It’s a beautifully crafted crystalline song full of deep emotion. “Daedalus,” the very next track shows that Dustin Kensrue likes the story of Icarus. This song is once again uses the story of Icarus from Greek mythology as an allegory. Daedalus is Icarus’ father and the song is written as a warning from father to son. It is very moving and i think it can also be related to the relationship between us and Father God, and I believe that is what Dustin intended to convey. By far my favorite disc of the two was Earth though. Earth is more of a departure from the Thrice we know. It is sort of a Thrice “unplugged,” where most if not all of the instruments used are acoustic. The theme seems to revolve around death, dying or returning to the dust… Every song on this disc is beautiful and i was surprised that Thrice could be so versatile as to write songs so different from the style they are known for, yet so good… Earth also features a cover of the Frodus song “The Earth isn’t Humming.” I was surprised when i heard this because Frodus is a very underground punk band that disbanded a few years ago. They were a band with christian members much like Thrice and i can’t help but think this cover was fitting. It’s nice to hear their take on a Frodus song i have been enjoying for years. The first track on the disc, “Moving Mountains” is great, very bluesy… I don’t really know how to describe just how different this whole Alchemy Index series is from Thrice’s earlier work but i encourage you to check them out because Thrice hit it out of the park with each style they tried!!

Track-listing:

Vol. III – Air:

  1. “Broken Lungs” – 4:14
  2. “The Sky Is Falling” – 4:21
  3. “A Song for Milly Michaelson” – 5:07
  4. Daedalus” – 6:00
  5. “As the Crow Flies” – 2:22
  6. “Silver Wings” – 2:10

Vol. IV – Earth

  1. “Moving Mountains” – 2:55
  2. “Digging My Own Grave” – 3:04
  3. “The Earth Isn’t Humming” (Frodus cover) – 4:58
  4. “The Lion and the Wolf” – 2:42
  5. Come All You Weary” – 4:08
  6. “Child of Dust” – 3:09

Price Paid: $14.99 (well, considering i paid $0.94 for the other half of this 4-disc set, i did ok…)

Today I went to Meijer again and got another album, which will hopefully be the last one from there for a little while (they didn’t have much anyway.)

“Youth” – Matisyahu

I got into Matisyahu during Christmas break of my freshman year of college. I downloaded all his stuff on Christmas day and his albums are among some of the last i downloaded. Matisyahu is a Jewish Reggae artist. I really like his music and the lyrics are really good too! He is singing about the same God anyway! This album is very catchy and is worth checking out if you like Reggae or if you are curious.

Track-listing:

  1. “Fire of Heaven/Altar of Earth” – 3:59
  2. “Youth” – 4:18
  3. “Time of Your Song” – 4:27
  4. “Dispatch the Troops” – 4:05
  5. “Indestructible” – 4:09
  6. “What I’m Fighting For” – 2:11
  7. Jerusalem” – 4:00
  8. “WP” – 3:58
  9. “Shalom/Saalam” – 1:06
  10. “Late Night in Zion” – 3:13
  11. “Unique is My Dove” – 3:24
  12. “Ancient Lullaby” – 4:18
  13. King without a Crown” – 3:42

Price Paid: $13.99

Got a few more albums coming in the mail, but i got a good deal on those so i won’t be going broke, lol. Hope you are enjoying the little more in-depth reviews and such, since I’m getting fewer albums right now I’m trying to write a bit more and trying to keep this blog interesting… Remember feedback is always appreciated! Check back soon!

Ep. 32 – “Loud and Clear” O.C. Supertones Review – Aug 22, 2008

Two days ago i went to lunch with a friend.  We walked down the street to one of my favorite little sandwich places.  Lunch was great and we had a really good time talking and thinking about the approaching school year and what God was going to do on our campus this year.  On the way home we passed by a christian bookstore and she asked if we could go in because she was looking for a book there.  I casually strolled over to there music section to browse.  I wasn’t really expecting to find anything there, I had been there before and had ever only found one really good CD (although that one CD was a really good find, Buck Enterprises “Live Worship” – Christian Ska band from Detroit playing worship songs… it’s great and it was only like 5$ 🙂 )  Anyway, i wasn’t expecting to find anything but all of a sudden i look down and see a great CD staring me in the face.

“Loud and Clear” – The O.C. Supertones

To tell you the truth when i first heard the Supertones I wasn’t really impressed…  The reason, i believe, is because I wanted them to be another Five Iron Frenzy.  I got really into Five Iron Frenzy sophomore year of high school, downloaded all there albums and loved them all.  I started to wish there were more FIF albums but sadly by then FIF had already called it quits.  So I decided to check out other Christian Ska bands.  I checked out the Supertones and didn’t quite like them…  They weren’t FIF (which now seems like a silly reason not to like a band…)  Another thing i didn’t like about them at the time was their lyrics… i thought they were too preachy…  Now I  know that’s because the music convicted me, i wasn’t really living my life for Christ in those days, I was rather luke-warm and I had little interest in Christian music that talked about God all the time (but i only listened to Christian music – figure that one out… lol)  Now the lyrics are one of the great things about the Supertones and one of the reasons I love them so much!  This album, their fourth release, is one of their best and it included my all time favorite Supertones song; “Jury Duty”.  This song is about how we should praise and thank God even during or crappy days and our bad times.  It is such a great song!  The entire song is great but i’ll share only the first verse with you here:

5 am on tuesday
Why am I up so early
Drive out to santa ana ’cause I’ve got jury duty
No breakfast short tempered
And I cut my head shaving
Ten miles out I hit traffic
Some days just aren’t worth saving

You know I haven’t had the best of days
But I want to stop and thank you anyway

You really should check that song out!  Other great songs on the album include “Pandora’s Box,” “Wilderness,” and “Forward to the Future.”  Really the whole album is great though.  If you love Ska, or just love music that glorifies God and really has something to say, I recommend checking this CD out… it’s a few years old but shouldn’t be too hard to find if you look in the right place.  I probably could have found it for cheaper but it was an impulse buy 😉  Price Paid: $13.99

Yesterday I found yet another great album and i am in the process of soaking it in, so a review for that one is immenant.  Check back soon!

Ep. 31 – Dance Or Die Review – Aug 20th, 2008

Yesterday Family Force 5 released their second full-length album to delight of many.  I rushed to Walmart and was delighted to find that it was actually in stock…  I had to hunt around for it a little bit but i did find a few copies tucked away on one of the shelves.  I have given myself a day to soak it in an am now prepared for a full review, here goes:

“Dance or Die” – Family Force 5

I have been waiting for FF5 to release a new album since their first album came out!  I absolutely fell in love with Soul Glow Activator and his crazy bandmates from the first time i heard the song “Kountry Gentelman.”  Now two years and one re-release later they finally boast new material on a large scale (the re-release featured 3 new tracks).  This album starts off strong with the title track, “Dance or Die”; a groovy 80’s sounding tune that really rocks.  Next, “Get Your Back Off the Wall” comes wailing in with Fuzz-drenched guitars and catchy lyrics, it got stuck in my head several times since yesterday…  It’s one of their “heavier” tracks and one that i really enjoy.  Following that is “Rip it Up” which maintains the fuzzy guitars and heavy synth buts moves the album in a little bit of a funkier direction with some nice drum-work (especially the high-hat-heavy dance rythmn.)  The song also has some great singing on the chorus.  Then the album totally shifts directions for a second; “How in the World” brings the album into a more ethereal vibe.  Waves of digital synth-sounds and electronic beats crash against your eardrums with a surprising pleasantness and pull you out into a deep ocean of sound.  A very full sounding song with very nice singing and lyrics, again it boasts a very 80’s pop sound.  “Fever” re-energizes the listener and shakes all that digital water of ya’ with it bumpin’ beat.  Nice club/dance number, reminiscent of “erfquake” from the first album but with it’s own distinct sound.  Then comes “Party Foul” one my other favorites on this disc.  It’s classic FF5 at it’s best; nice effects on most of the vocals.  This song manages to crack me up and make me feel like rockin’ out at the same time!  Then comes my favorite track on the disc and maybe my favorite FF5 song of all time; “D-I-E 4 Y-O-U.”  By far the “heaviest” track on the album and in my opinion the one with the most energy.  Rocks out through the entirty of the song and even has a metal-esque breakdown.  Then with “Share it With You” the album chills out again.  Kind of goes into a classic hip-hop sounding song and the grooves on through like a low-rida.  “The First Time” keeps it in the same type of musical area except it sounds more punk-rockish… like a punk rock power ballad…  “Wake the Dead” breaks back into a more recognizable sound as FF5 lights up the dance-floor of your mind.  Nice funky guitars and just a groovy all-around feel.  The album closes out with another one of my favorites, “Radiator.”  This song is in the same vein as the previous track but with a little more Rock.  It also boasts a good message in the lyrics… i think…  I interpreted the song as talking about shinning for Christ… but even if that isn’t what it’s about, it’s really good.  In conclusion, “Dance or Die” is a fun-filled romp from dance-floors to mosh-pits and everything inbetween.  I am excited to see what FF5 brings to the table next time.  Remember kids, keep it C-R-U-N-K in the U-S-A!  Price Paid: $9.87

I’ve got some other new CDs that i’m listening to and i should review the shortly… stay tuned.