Song of the Day: Black Eyed Sceva - Handshake

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I don’t know what it is but maybe today’s dark and stormy skies along with a heavy downpour elicits a moody yet introspective response to music. A song such as “Handshake” really makes you stop and think. I still believe after all these years that the band Black Eyed Sceva (and later known as ‘Model Engine’) were brilliant songwriters, Jeremy Post in particular. There was something magical in their music and the way they conveyed these emotions through song. They may not have been widely known or celebrated as “Rock stars” but their music was incredibly important to me. Coming from the sun swept beaches and warm climate of California instilled in them a unique perspective, much like the rest of the music scene during the early to late 90’s. Black Eyed Sceva were unlike most in the “Christian” music market. They weren’t hair metal, they weren’t a particularly heavy rock band, not grunge, not punk enough, not indie enough, not ska, and certainly not CCM material, yet what they created was unlike anything else in the scene at the time. They were edgy while not trying to be, and mellow enough to attract fans of all genres of music. 5 Minute Walk truly grabbed a gem when they signed this band. The song I am talking about today is “Handshake” and it’s a heavy one, lyrically. Tackling the topic of AIDS, Homosexuality, Forgiveness, and Love from a Christian perspective was unlike anything else I’d heard. There were heavy bands with the opposite message, CCM artists in hippy dippy happy land, punk rockers trying a little to hard to be HARD and so on. Fire and Brimstone rock n’ roll wasn’t necessarily winning people over, as much as we wanted to believe it was. The soft spoken words of Jeremy Post and his lyrical abilities to connect with a listener on a personal level was just beyond words. I am not debating life style choices or the spirituality of people on both sides of the aisle. I just want you, the listener to read the words, soak in the message, and realize there is always a time and place for love, for forgiveness, and for grief. You can find the lyrics below as well as the song. Seeing this band perform at a Church winter camp back in 1995 was the highlight of my youth. Thank you Jeremy Post wherever you may be for inspiring a young high school student like myself at the time and for giving me words when my lips couldn’t speak them correctly. God bless the music of Black Eyed Sceva and Model Engine, may your songs inspire future generations to come no matter how underground it may seem.

More about this album

Black Eyed Sceva – Handshake
From the album “Way Before The Flood” (1995)
[Facebook]
Lyrics

When Ric came to talk
There wasn’t a dry eye that watched
If you’ll stretch the analogy
We’ve all found liquid cocaine desires
All of us have fallen for sin
Everyone has struggles with temptation
All of us were wounded
Some of us are dead
Ric acquired the immune deficiency syndrome
Here’s my hand
When he reaches two-thirty he’ll be gone
He laughed when I said safe sex is an oxymoron
Sure he’s gay, but he swears he didn’t get it that way
If sin is sin you’re just another gay book judged by the cover
Whose next page is stamped the end
So here’s my hand, Handshake
Should I be scared, when Paul grabbed the serpent
Paul’s life was spared, so shall mine be
If a needle prick brought this disease
Take my sincerest sympathies
You got’em man, and here’s my handshake
Will it spread through my skin
When my hand touches him
It won’t spread through my hand
When my hand touches him
Here’s my handshake
Watch our hands shake

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Monica Russell
Monica Russell
June 12, 2020 3:13 pm

Wow. Well said! Yes, I got to be a part of that years ago and haven’t seen anything like it since. Rockfest music is trying to have groups that tour each summer to encourage , share, and minister.

Timothy Abrams
Timothy Abrams
December 14, 2019 9:40 pm

Brandon. I have a indelible tattoo of Model Engine on the inside of my brain. They definitely wrote the most consistently interesting music of my life. I never picked up Black Eyed Sceva though. Do you know where I could get their music? Model Engine was a band that was too great for too short a time!

Dave
Dave
December 5, 2019 4:43 pm

Along with Poor Old Lu and a few others, this was the golden era of Christian music in my opinion. Got to meet and hang with Black Eyed Sceva, along with POL and some others, and Jeremy, Brad and Brent (and later Erik) were all genuine people along with being fantastic musicians. Black Eyed Sceva/Model Engine deserved better, putting down their instruments and walking away from music all together due to the treatment from their record label/industry. Jeremy and Brad are now commercial airline pilots, but I will never forget their music.

Loyd Harp
December 5, 2019 2:37 pm

Loved this band! Got to see them live about 3 times. It was amazing how they were able to get so much sound out of only 3 instruments + vocals!

Mtroads
Mtroads
December 4, 2019 6:26 pm

With all the reunions happening from that era, I keep hoping that Jeremy Post will surface and we’ll get at least a reunion show

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