Rend Collective Experiment – Homemade Worship By Handmade People

By Jonathan Andre on June-2-2012 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , , , | Share

Rend Collective Experiment – Homemade Worship By Handmade People
Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/54
4.0 (4 votes)

Artist: Rend Collective Experiment
Title: Homemade Worship By Handmade People
Label: Kingsway Music/EMI CMG
Release Date: 1/10/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre

Tracklisting:

  1. Praise Like Fireworks
  2. You Are My Vision
  3. The Cost
  4. Second Chance
  5. True Intimacy
  6. Build Your Kingdom Here
  7. Desert Soul
  8. Christ has Set Me Free
  9. Keep Me Near
  10. Alabaster
  11. Shining Star

Hailing from Bangor, Northern Ireland, Rend Collective Experiment have breathed new life into the CCM genre in a similar way David Crowder*Band has. With chart topping songs like ‘You Bled’, ‘Faithful’ and ‘Movements’, Gareth Gilkeson explains the band’s title and how they are seeking after the Lord, being reminded ‘…not to put on a show, but to be real and authentic in all we do…[we are name ‘rend’ because] in Isaiah it also says ‘rend the heavens and come down,’ so a connection with God warrants an authentic response…the ‘experiment’ part is there because nobody knows where we’re at…we’re all just experimenting with life and going with it…’ As they released their sophomore album Homemade Worship by Handmade People in January 2012 with singles ‘You are My Vision’ and ‘Second Chance’; I was eager to see how this band, very similar musically with experimentation as David Crowder*Band; would step up (I seriously think they can!) to the void that David Crowder*Band left when they retired that same month. Listening to the album through, I can boldly claim Rend Collective Experiment will assert themselves in the CCM industry, with refreshing sounds and musical uniqueness that places this album as one of the most underrated albums of 2012 so far!

‘Second Chance’ is the first single, worshipful from the start as lead singer Chris Llewellyn sings out ‘…oh Your cross it changes everything…’ As this certain fact presses on our hearts as we understand that Jesus’ death and resurrection revolutionises history and what remains important in the grand schemes of eternity; I am able to soak in musical genius from a band that have enough repertoire and quality to move into the place that David Crowder vacated. With guitar hook reminding me of Mark Waldrop’s musical prowess from David Crowder*Band and current member to The Digital Age; this song speaks of a plea that we all ask everyday- for God to continue shaping us as we are transformed by the creator of our being. Starting from the poignant lyrical moments that delve into the heart of the human condition ‘…my future hangs on this, You make preciousness from dust, please don’t stop creating me…’ we are able to comprehend the depth of how important Christ’s sacrifice is for us. We are forever grateful for Jesus’ sacrifice, and this song is able to remind us of the second chances we receive from our Heavenly Father, both now and the rest of our lives; as we continue to be transformed in the likeness and image of God. A fantastic first single by a band that reinvigorates the current Christian musical setting!

‘The Cost’, ‘True Intimacy’ and ‘You are My Vision’ carry on the themes of ‘Second Chance’, creating heartfelt melodies that show us more of God’s love, creating a bigger picture as to how the Lord built the bridge for us to make our way back to Him. ‘You are My Vision’ is a contemporary re-imagining of the popular hymn, complete with plenty of percussion, acoustic guitars and backing vocals. A fresh contemporary re-invigorating sound of a timeless hymn, Gareth gives the listener a background to how the ‘be thou’ became the boldly proclaiming ‘you are’; ‘…this is not a song of longing and asking God to ‘be our vision,’ but it is a song of declaration and faith. We say to God with strength, trust and humanity that ‘You are my vision’…’ Rend Collective Experiment have done a tremendous job at choreographing the song, as well as ‘The Cost’ and ‘True Intimacy’; both highlighting the importance of taking up our crosses and following Christ, no matter what the cost. With acoustics, hand claps and light percussion, we are led to the lyrical moments in ‘The Cost’, ‘…I’ve counted up the cost…and You are worth it…’ understanding that Christians need to boldly claim this statement and mean every word, that because of what Christ has done, we can’t help but follow Him; knowing that it is worth every adversary or opponent that stand in our way. With Ali Gilkeson taking the helm on lead vocals, ‘True Intimacy’ leads us into the truth that ‘…there’s nothing greater than knowing You, You unlock my joy, You waken my soul…’ Mixed with acoustical moments overlayed with soaring vocals and electronic distortion, I am able to soak in the worship as I sing out with Ali, proclaiming that knowing God is everything.

The beginning of ‘Shining Star’ is complete with brass instruments, guitars and powerful drums; as we peel back the layers on this worship track. Glancing at the song brings out the theme of overwhelming love as we are met halfway by the maker as we know that because of who He is, we can be called His children. The lines ‘…You are magnificent…my rescuer, You light the darkest night…’ show God’s power over the darkness, and is indeed the shining star guiding our hearts. Both ‘Build Your Kingdom Here’ and ‘Keep Me Near’ are ‘heart-invading’ songs as we are met with the similar theme of inviting God into our hearts, trusting Him as He works through our circumstances to create the men and women we can be in Him. With driving guitars and strong percussion, Chris shows his passion for the church in ‘Build You Kingdom Here’, boldly proclaiming God to ‘…build Your kingdom here, let the darkness fear, show Your mighty hand, heal our streets and land…’ Making his intentions clear, I am able to sing along with him, knowing that God loves to use His children as vessels of His love and hope for the world to see. In ‘Keep Me Near’, we are encouraged of the humbleness of the wanting God to keep us close to Him, so we can be nourished and grow. Combined with an eerie keyboard and plenty of backing vocals, lead vocalist Will Herron proclaims the reassuring words ‘…keep me near Your heart…You are everything that is beautiful…’, showcasing to be one of the most tender and soothing tracks is one of my highlights.

Rend Collective Experiment mostly record songs in an experimental way, trying new musical ways of conveying truth in song. From folk to ballads and roaring anthems, they have exploring many musical options among these 11 tracks. ‘Praise Like Fireworks’ has a ‘60s vibe with roaring guitars, and a passionate vocal crowd; with Will Herron shouting out ‘…You’ve given us a heart, given us a home…we’re bringing You our praise…’, and I can’t help but dance along. ‘Christ Has Set Me Free’ is another short track that is as contemplative as their longest track; ‘Desert Soul’. With themes like proclaiming that we are dry bones lost without the Lord (‘Desert Soul’) and rejoicing that Christ has set us free from the things that hold us down (‘Christ Has Set Me Free’); Rend Collective’s ingenious musical crafting has led me to state that this is an album you won’t want to pass up!

Overall: Rend Collective Experiment have served up 11 tracks of pure worshipful moments where the listener is lost in praise. Certainly a candidate to fill David Crowder*Band’s shoes, Homemade Worship By Handmade People has exceeded all expectations to become one of my favourite worship albums of the year together with Christy Nockels’ Into the Glorious, Bluetree’s Kingdom and Paul Baloche’s The Same Love. Lovers of David Crowder’s work will be at home with the album, but is also for anyone that needs some joy in the midst of daily life. Full of musical genius from 1 to 11; well done Rend Collective for such a captivating experience!

RIYL: David Crowder Band, Bluetree, Paul Baloche, Christy Nockels

Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3

Rend Collective Experiment - Homemade Worship By Handmade People, 4.0 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

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About the author Jonathan Andre

I am a lover of all things CCM... and I live in Australia! I love cricket, catching up with friends, going to the movies and watching TV shows. Favourite shows: Monk, Psych, One Tree Hill, Once Upon a Time, Chuck, Parenthood, Being Erica, Eureka and Life on Mars (BBC). I also love to cook and read. View all posts by Jonathan Andre

14 Responses to 'Rend Collective Experiment – Homemade Worship By Handmade People'

  1. Tim says:

    So glad you have reviewed this. By far the best band that has come out of the UK for far too long. Amazing music!

    • well, i really think delirious? are the best band from the U.K. (but after listening to this album, i can safely say that rend collective are second- third is bluetree!)

    • Tim says:

      I was never that in to Delirious? but they were alright. I prefer their older worship stuff. But since they split up there has been a massive void in quality British Christian bands.

      Here’s my theory – Delirious? were great but they also have been a burden to the British Christian scene. Most bands have tried to aspire to sound like them instead of creating something unique. As a result we’ve got many poor quality acts and not much else. No one is trying something new. Incidentally, that’s why I’ve got so much respect for Rend Collective because they’ve shaken it up a bit. I’d love to see some heavy bands or some other bands trying something a bit different. That’s my prayer. Revival of the UK Christian music scene.

      There are a few newer bands that have potential. And some great artists. Philippa Hanna is one of the best singers I’ve come across for a while. I’d love for her to get some more exposure.

    • yeah, delirious? was the only band that seemed to be carrying the whole british christian music scene for a while, nevertheless, i still think they have revolutionised the christian music industry and are one of my favourite bands ever…

      haven’t really heard much of philippa hanna’s songs… i may just do that in the next few days.

      though rend collective experiment have come out of the uk area, i still think they’ll be a great replacement for David Crowder*Band (they retired in early January 2012)! With their experimental sound, i’m sure they’ll strike a chord with american listeners…

    • Tim says:

      I think you might like her.

    • cool, i’ve actually checked my itunes library, and i have 2 albums of her’s (taste, and watching me) but haven’t listened to them yet… i think it’s time to click on a track…

  2. fusse says:

    The couple live DVDs I have from Delirious are one of the best in my opinion. So full of Spirit and feeling that can’t do anything else but be sucked into worship.

    • i really love their latest dvd (farewell show) as well as their 2006 cd/dvd (now is the time). such passion, energy and emotion, i can see how much they revolutionised the worship industry with songs like ‘majesty’, ‘did you feel the mountains tremble’, ‘i could sing of your love forever’ as well as my favourite, ‘history maker’!

    • Tim says:

      They were pretty good live. I saw them twice.

    • yes they are very good live! especially ‘history maker’, my favourite song ever! definitely one of the most famous songs of the 90s along with dc talk’s ‘jesus freak’, steven curtis chapman’s ‘the great adventure’, newsboys’ ‘shine’ and michael w smith’s ‘place in this world’!

    • fusse says:

      I’ve seen them twice as well. Loved both times.

  3. KeithX says:

    I really like this album. A whole lot. It’s unique enough that I don’t get bored, and the musicianship is fantastic. A solid 4.

  4. I’m expecting Gungor to be the one to fill Crowder’s creative worship shoes, but I like this album too. Good review.

  5. My favourite tracks on this are ‘Second Chance’ and ‘You Are My Vision’. Solid album on the whole, and a great music video too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6RNJ6HDTpU

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