Song of the Day: World Theatre - Water Spill

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World Theatre released only one album, the brilliant eponymous full-length, for Frontline-imprint Graceland Records in 1989. But the band’s credentials are deeper than that might suggest. Founder Tim McAllister (vocals, guitar, bass, programming) had previously been in another one-album-only new wave band called Flock 14. Jim Abegg (AKA Jimmy A, from Vector and more recently The Ascendants) provided some guitar work. Gene Eugene (Adam Again, Lost Dogs, hundreds of production and studio credits) mixed the album. And piano and keyboards (along with some additional bass guitar work) were provided by none other than Cincinnati’s own Linford Detweiler (this was pre-Over the Rhine).

What World Theatre lacked in longevity, they made up for in creativity and depth of emotional songwriting. I first heard them on Christian radio in the late 80s as a teenager, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the depth here:

Death-defying feats of courage, yeah,
There’s polished plastic in five years gone,
Fall down to things built with my hands,
They’ll fall from the heat at your dawn,
Isolation, I chose the separation.

Let your water spill down on me,
Let your water spill down on me,
Let your water spill down on me,
Let your water spill down on…

In return for my forgiveness, I now submit a broken man,
But in this land of one thousand temptations, only in you do I…will I stand,
Condemnation, you bring reconciliation.

Let your water spill down on me,
Let your water spill down on me,
Let your water spill down on me,
Let your water spill down on one, two and three.

Yes, Tim, I now hear you loud and clear. In return for my forgiveness, I too submit a broken man, hoping to stand in the one who reconciles.

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jeb st. george
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jeb st. george
February 3, 2024 6:59 am

Gary Egger (Human Condition) deserves mentioning, as he also contributed to this severely overlooked album.

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