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.

September 24, 2021

Song of the Day: The Lonely Now - Original Intentions

Wonderfully noisy, and delightfully obscure, The Lonely Now only released 3 full-length recordings in their short career: —Captive, 1986, Narrowpath Records (cassette only) —Original Intention, 1987, Narrowpath Records (cassette, LP) —Honest Tear, 1990, Narrowpath/Refuge (cassette only) While all of their releases are somewhat difficult to obtain, ironically their final album–the only one with national distribution through Refuge–is the most difficult.… Continued →

September 17, 2021

Song of the Day: Morgarten - To Victory

Swiss band Morgarten are back with a new full-length album, this time on Inner Wound Recordings. The album is called Cry of the Lost and was released in June. While the band still plays in the folk metal genre overall, the new material is heavier than their debut, and features more prominently the elements of black metal and some of the fantasy/epic battle elements of power metal, as evidenced by the accompanying music video.… Continued →

September 11, 2021

Diving Deep into Shoegaze

So a new friend or acquaintance finds out you’re into music. The inevitable question follows: “what kind of music do you like?” How honest are you? Do you simply say, “I like a little bit of everything?” You know that’s not true. You can’t stand Matchbox 20. Do you try something a little more honest, but still generic, like, “mostly rock stuff.”… Continued →

September 10, 2021

Song of the Day: Watchmen - Stand Strong

Hey, I get it. 80s metal is a love or hate thing. Many IVM readers are fans primarily of pop-punk and related genres. The thought of dudes in make-up, hairspray and spandex just seems like a bad joke. But for those of us who were there, it comes with a heap of nostalgia, and occasionally some good tunes too!… Continued →

September 7, 2021

September 3, 2021

Song of the Day: Iona - Bi-Se I Mo Shuil

Contemporary Celtic band Iona have been making music since their eponymous debut released in 1990. Fusing traditional Celtic folk instruments (flutes, whistles, bodhran drums, etc.) with jazz and progressive elements caused them to stand out from their other contemporary Celtic peers. Albums from the band commonly featured worshipful tunes (“Treasure” for instance, from their third album Beyond These Shores or “Revelation” from the second one, Book of Kells), traditional Scots-Irish tunes, as well as lengthy instrumental songs, or instrumental sections within songs.… Continued →

August 27, 2021

Song of the Day: Fluffy - Amboy Bound

Fluffy’s debut, Fluffy Luvs You, was a fun punk rock record, even if it was a little predictable. Featuring 3 chord thrash goodness, and nonsensical lyrics, it stood out in the Christian punk scene for its lack of preaching. So fans and critics alike were a little puzzled when the band dropped their sophomore effort, Go, Fluffy, Go!Continued →

August 26, 2021

Starflyer 59 release new single "Sunrise"

Jason Martin is back at it, never ceasing to create and release new music. The new single is called “Sunrise” and is decidedly more upbeat than the recent “Life in Bed.” Perhaps the two work as companion pieces? The 80s post-punk and new wave influences are here again, but filtered through Jason’s shoegaze and indie rock background.… Continued →

August 20, 2021

Song of the Day: Nobody Special - Finger Pointer

I first heard Nobody Special in 1989. My local contemporary Christian music radio station (KOKF 91.1 FM out of Oklahoma City) played their new album in its entirety over the airwaves. You see, KOKF was not your average CCM station. Sure, they played some adult contemporary and “inspirational” stuff during the daytime, but as the late afternoon and evening hit, they would feature more contemporary styles including pop, rap, rock, etc.… Continued →

August 13, 2021

Song of the Day: Sally Grayson - Now

You might be familiar with Sally Grayson’s name due to her collaborations with The Blamed–lending her vocal cords on their cover of the scaterd-few classic “U” (for their Quarantine Days project), or for her contributions to “Away in a Manger” on 2020’s Christmas album. The scaterd-few cover is where I first became familiar with her work.… Continued →

August 6, 2021

Song of the Day: L.S. Underground - The Fold

I first heard L.S.U. in about 1991. I had been a pretty staunch metalhead, but a few alternative rock bands were starting to open me up to new colors in my musical palette. While the experimental This is the Healing was the first album I heard from them, The Grape Prophet is a favorite of fans and critics alike.… Continued →

July 30, 2021

Song of the Day: Velour 100 - Toledo

I’m a sucker for all things shoegaze, including music that often falls under the wider umbrella of dream pop, madchester/baggy, indie pop and some forms of Britpop and space rock. While shoegaze had a limited representation amongst Christian artists, there were a few who really excelled in the genre. Ypsilanti, Michigan’s Velour 100 was one such artist.… Continued →

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 →