Author: Loyd Harp

Having lived and worked in England for 13 years, my family and I have just returned to the United States. We work at an inner-city church in the Eastside of Indianapolis. I'm a youth worker by career, and a music lover at heart. Metal, punk, hardcore, indie rock, free jazz, folk, classic country all have a place in my collection.

July 23, 2021

July 16, 2021

Song of the Day: The Choir - Gripped

One of the longest-running indie/alternative bands in the Christian scene, The Choir emerged in the 1980s initially as Youth Choir, shortening the name after the release of one album and one EP. The band formed in 1983 and were instrumental in the early 80s Calvary Chapel scene in Southern California, that also included stalwarts like Undercover, Altar Boys, and 4-4-1.… Continued →

July 2, 2021

Song of the Day: Starflyer 59 - Life in Bed

First things first: I must apologize for missing a couple of weeks on my Song of the Day features. We’ve been in the middle of an international move. Yes, after 13 years of life in the UK, my family and I have returned to the United States! And we’ve been living out of suitcases while we finalize our housing.… Continued →

June 4, 2021

Song of the Day: Bloodshed - Martha

The amazing thing about “Martha” from Bloodshed’s 1995 self-titled EP isn’t just how complex it is. Yes, it hits that sweet spot, distinctive of top-notch emo-core where the perfect balance of harsh and soft, noisy and melodic come together. It’s also not how mature the lyrics are. They’re inspired by a poem written by a young girl (the song’s namesake) during World War 2.… Continued →

May 28, 2021

Song of the Day: Cannon Heath Down - Bone (of Contention)

It’s amazing how one can listen to music for years, decades even, and still find an obscure gem from days gone past that was missed out. Vancouver’s Cannon Heath Down only released one album: 1987’s Heart-Throb Companion (and a cassette demo 2 years later). The self-produced album was only released on LP, and its stellar take on indie pop will appeal to fans of The Ocean Blue, Morrissey, Game Theory, Riverside, The Mighty Lemon Drops, etc.… Continued →

May 21, 2021

Song of the Day: No Laughing Matter - Bad Blood

Arizona’s No Laughing Matter were kind of a ‘love ’em or hate ’em’ kind of game. Dark and broody, they didn’t fit in with most CCM at the time. Heck, even the alternative stuff wasn’t quite this dark, for the most part. Scott Roman’s dramatic wail was an acquired taste. The guitars alternated between goth-rock and the occasional nod to funk (see “Helltown”).… Continued →

May 14, 2021

Song of the Day: Code of Ethics - Hold Me

Code of Ethics hit on the Christian music scene in 1991 with their brilliant debut Visual Paradox for R.E.X. Music (later re-issued on Forefront), having already released an independent cassette demo a year prior. The album was a synth-pop triumph, taking the best of techno-pop and alternative dance and fusing them into a singular whole that was as danceable as Information Society, but as catchy as Pet Shop Boys or Erasure.… Continued →

May 7, 2021

April 30, 2021

Song of the Day: The Bubblebaby Experience - The Big Blue

I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t know a lot about electronica. As much as I love genre-fying musical artists and trying to pinpoint them within their style or scene, I just can’t get my heard around the hundreds of subgenres of electronic dance music. I was never one for going to nightclubs (where the genres and all its cognates developed), and the scene is just too huge to know thoroughly without being immersed in it.… Continued →

April 23, 2021

Song of the Day: The Calicoes - Read

If you turn the Christian indie shaker upside down, not too many psychobilly bands fall out. One of the first and best was The Calicoes, from Texas. They released one fantastic EP called Rumble (the title a contextualized reference to the battle between good and evil), and a full-length named Custom Acceleration.… Continued →

April 9, 2021

Song of the Day: Chasm - Unknown

In the mid- to late-90s when all of the other Christian hardcore bands were doing new school/chugga chugga style hardcore with increasingly metallic influences, Bakersfield’s Chasm were drawing on earlier inspiration. These influences came mostly from the 80s British hardcore punk/d-beat sound (Discharge, Conflict, etc.), although somewhat ironically this track has elements of early black metal in the guitar riffs (a la Venom or Bathory).… Continued →

April 2, 2021

Song of the Day: God - Revelation

Is it a bit pompous to call your band “God”? Maybe. But what’s particularly interesting about this band is we know nothing about them. Band members are completely anonymous. Is it even a band, or a solo project? Where are they from? No idea. Because the project is completely designed to “Challenge you to consider Him as well as your life & death through the power of music,” they figured the best way to do that was anonymously.… Continued →

March 26, 2021

Song of the Day: Disturbulenced - EXpose(d)

While Gospel music to most probably represents tradition and preservation, there is also a strong undercurrent of experimentation and the avant garde. Among faith-filled artists are John Coltrane’s divinely-inspired free jazz, classical composers pushing the envelope of what music should be (Bach, for instance), heck even the first rock and roller (arguably) was essentially a Gospel singer/guitarist who just cranked things up a little louder.… Continued →

March 19, 2021

March 12, 2021

Song of the Day: Resurrection Band - Beggar in the Alleyway

Depending on how you define the term, Resurrection Band was arguably the first Christian heavy metal band. While their debut album was released in 1978, their earliest demo recordings date back to as early as 1973. While many fans and critics will argue, “they’re not heavy metal, just hard rock,” this outlook unfortunately judges the past by current standards.… Continued →

March 5, 2021

Song of the Day: 4•4•1 - Show Me

4•4•1 burst onto the SoCal new wave scene in 1984, releasing their debut album on Royal Commandment Records (soon to be re-named Blue Collar Records). The band formed in 1983 in Los Angeles County, diligently rehearsing in the garage of bassist/keyboardist Glenn Holland’s parents. They recorded a 4-song demo and subsequently sent out copies to area youth pastors.… Continued →

February 26, 2021

Song of the Day: The Walk - Vessels of Noble Worth

Welcome to what is probably the most underrated album in Christian alternative music history. The problem is largely that it just wasn’t heard by enough people. This Pennsylvania band comprised one third of the ‘holy trinity’ of Christian jangle pop, rounded out by Virginia’s The Throes and Minnesota’s The Swoon (coincidentally all band names beginning with the definite article).… Continued →

February 19, 2021

Song of the Day: Creed - Meet Again (no, not THAT Creed)

Long before Scott Stapp was crooning about going higher and breaking out of his own prison, there was this Creed, a traditional heavy metal band from Germany. The band released only one full-length album through Pias Music in Europe (and Pure Metal in North America), after releasing an obscure EP. The band played an intensely melodic brand of heavy metal without ever crossing into glam.… Continued →

February 18, 2021

February 12, 2021

February 5, 2021

Song of the Day: Dig Hay Zoose - Struggle Fish

The funk-punk and funk-metal scene(s) rose quickly in the early 90s and then disappeared just as quickly. At one point, it was looking to be the next big thing, but as a genre it never dominated alternative rock as it once looked like it would. In fact, aside from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction, few in the general market ever made it big, even though bands like Fishbone and 24-7 Spyz were just as talented.… Continued →

January 29, 2021

Song of the Day: Circle of Dust - Aggressor (Regressive Mix)

Industrial music has a long and complicated history, which we don’t have time to get deeply into here. Its roots lie in avant garde experimentalism of the 1970s, its name coming from literal industrial sounds as its inspiration. As the genre developed, it became intertwined with other styles–most notably dance music and techno, or at the other end of the spectrum heavy metal, and occasionally even hip-hop.… Continued →

January 22, 2021

Song of the Day: Moral Support - Control

Punk rock developed somewhere in the 1970s when what had essentially been garage rock bands got louder, snarlier, and started playing shorter, faster songs. While critics argue about the official beginning of the genre (is proto-punk still punk?), it was fully fledged in the late 70s, and had already started giving way to what would become two new genres.… Continued →

January 15, 2021

January 8, 2021

Song of the Day: Rage of Angels - Don't Give Up

Glam metal gets a bad rap. Especially in punk/indie/hardcore circles. Except for the occasional semi-ironic nod to the genre, it doesn’t get much love outside of 40- and 50-something dads who like to show off old photos of their teenage mullets. Whether the cheesyness or the sleaziness is to blame, folks seem to have a love-hate relationship with it.… Continued →

January 1, 2021

December 25, 2020

December 18, 2020

Song of the Day: Dead Artist Syndrome - Dance With Me

The year was 1990. I’d heard lots of buzz about this new “goth rock” band Dead Artist Syndrome. Even Roger Martinez from Vengeance Rising had been sporting their t-shirt at gigs. For those who don’t know, DAS was the first goth band to release an album on a Christian label. While being the first is always a good thing, it wasn’t the fact that they were an early representative of the subgenre that made them interesting.… Continued →

December 11, 2020

Song of the Day: Living Sacrifice - Not Beneath

There are so many different types of Living Sacrifice fans. People who started listening from the beginning, and those who joined somewhere along the way. Fans who praise their experimental phase, those who prefer the -core era, and those who swear by the traditional metal era. Heck, I even know one guy who claims they only released one album (he’s a thrash fan), and all the others were recorded by imposters!… Continued →

December 4, 2020

Song of the Day: The Swoon - Sweet Ally

Don’t you hate it when an amazing band releases one stellar album and then disappears off the map leaving virtually no trace whatsoever? That’s more or less what happened to Minnesota’s The Swoon. This intelligent, artsy, literate (one of the band’s song titles is a Dante reference) band made up one third of Christian jangle-pop’s ‘holy trinity’ (also including The Throes and The Walk).… Continued →