Author: Loyd Harp

I've lived in 6 different states, and 3 different countries. Having lived and worked in England for 13 years, my family and I returned to the United States just over a year ago. I work at an inner-city church in the Near 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 (and more) all have a place in my collection. I wrote a book on youth ministry called "Middle Space Youth Work" that is available in all major online bookstores.

January 19, 2024

Song of the Day: Melk the G6-49 - The Instantaneous Mobilization of All The Resources In The BURROW and All The Forces of My Body...

Milk the G6-49 was a two-man noise rock/math rock band from Indianapolis, and spearheaded by Joyful Noise Recordings founder/owner Karl Hofstetter. The band was entirely instrumental, yet reflected biblical themes in its song titles and album titles. Their debut is based around the “writing on the wall” story from Daniel chapter 5. Having said that, it’s not clear the band’s (nor label’s) current take on faith, despite early recordings being inspired by and/or dedicated to it. The band was active in recording from 2001 – 2004 and then went quiet until releasing a 7″ in 2022, so here’s hoping that means the band will kick back up.… Continued →

January 12, 2024

Song of the Day: Tonio K. - Without Love

Tonio K. was one of those hard-to-classify artists. He employed elements of rock, alternative, new wave, singer-songwriter, and more. He was too alternative for the mainstream, but not quite weird enough for indie rock. Let’s just call it rock and roll, shall we? Born in Southern California, the son of Armenian immigrants (born Steven Krikorian), K began his career with garage rock band The Raik’s Progress (who opened for Buffalo Springfield), then played a stint with Buddy Holly’s band the Crickets, but he got his first real break with a publishing deal for Intersong.… Continued →

January 11, 2024

Exciting new Punk compilation benefits a Food Pantry

The folks at Thumper Punk Records have released a new compilation featuring a staggering 21 tracks! The comp’s contributions range from unsigned/unheard of bands to the mighty prolific, and include multiple subgenres from folk-punk to pop-punk to hardcore and even black metal. Best of all, all proceeds go towards the Valley Churches Together Food Pantry project based in Santa Cruz, California! Download and support the project here: https://thumperpunkrecords.bandcamp.com/album/valley-churches-united-food-pantry-benefit-compilationContinued →

January 5, 2024

Song of the Day: Rhythm Saints - L.A. Story (Hundred Thousand Lights)

While the alternative rock revolution was exploding all over the 90s, another musical genre was becoming ever more expansive in the same decade–electronica. Faith-based artists were pursuing new subgenres from house to techno/rave to EBM and lots of other styles. One pioneering artist in the house genre was Rhythm Saints, comprised of husband Stephen Nixon and wife Lee-Jane Nixon. Although Stephen was British born, the couple were based in Los Angeles, whence their inspiration for this track emerges. While most of the album channeled house and progressive house sounds, this track (incidentally the only one I could find from their debut via YouTube) dabbles pleasantly in ambient as well.… Continued →

December 29, 2023

Song of the Day: Unashamed - Never Ends

This band from Southern California was one of the first wave of bands who set the foundation for what was known as “Spirit-filled hardcore.” A wave which also included Focused, Strongarm, Six Feet Deep and a handful of others, many of which remained unsigned. The scene was characterized by ‘new school’ or ‘chugga chugga’ or metallic hardcore of the early to mid-90s, combined with lyrics that were bold and unapologetic about faith issues. The first time I heard Unashamed was actually a live show as they were the opening band at the first Tooth and Nail Weekend in 1994, a mini-fest at the Where-House in Bartlesville, OK featuring all Tooth and Nail bands (also on the bill were Focused, Chatterbox, Plankeye, Starflyer 59 and Wish for Eden who sadly had to cancel due to a broken down van).… Continued →

December 22, 2023

Song of the Day: Viva Voce - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

My favorite Christmas songs tend to be the traditional carols. Sure, I love a good cheesy secular holiday tune every now and then (“Let it Snow” anyone?), but I find the deep theology of the carols to be particularly meaningful, and therefore apropos for the season. Having said that, there are also some wonderful contemporary renderings of the traditional tunes. Viva Voce was an indie rock band, centered on wife-husband duo Anita and Kevin Robinson. Originally from Alabama, they transplanted to Portland, OR somewhere along their musical (and geographical) journey.… Continued →

December 15, 2023

Song of the Day: Over the Rhine - Etcetera Whatever

This band has been around since the 90s, maybe even the late 80s, making brilliant folk/pop/rock/blues/adult alternative/whatever type music. They’re the sort of band that other musicians love to love. The core of the band is husband-wife duo Linford Detweiler on piano and Karin Bergquist on vocals. The rest of the band has been a revolving cast, and in the half-dozen times I’ve seen them live, roughly half of those have featured just the pair. They’ve always danced around the edge of whatever “Christian music” means, always dropping hints about their faith, but simultaneously distancing themselves from the industrial machinations of the Christian music industry.… Continued →

December 12, 2023

INTERVIEW : Symphony of Heaven: Going to Extremes to Make a Point

What does black metal have to do with Christianity? I caught up with Asaph and PATHØS of Indiana’s own Symphony of Heaven to find out. IVM: You guys have been playing this style of music for a few years now. How did you get into black metal (or extreme metal in general) and what led you to want to play music in this style? Asaph: So my answer to this is a bit of a journey. I started the metal journey really with Living Sacrifice, which the early stuff would be considered extreme metal.… Continued →

December 8, 2023

Song of the Day: Lightforce - Metal Missionary

Lightforce was a heavy metal band from Australia, active in the late 1980s. They recorded 3 cassette demos from 1986-87, before getting the attention of US-based Pure Metal Records. The band’s label debut Mystical Thieves was a unique entry in Christian metal. While based in traditional heavy metal, it touched on speed metal and power metal without ever fully crossing into thrash territory. It was heavy, loud, and raw. In 1990 the band recorded a fourth and final demo called Break the Curse, which saw the band going in an even heavier direction, just before changing their name.… Continued →

December 1, 2023

Song of the Day: Poor Old Lu - All Pretty for the TV

Poor Old Lu are/were one of the most celebrated alternative rock bands in the Christian scene. They hit at the height of the Christian indie scene in the 1990s, and formed a core unit of alternative rock bands that included The Prayer Chain, Plankeye, Starflyer 59 and a handful of others. Hailing from the Seattle area, the band also had close ties with others in the scene like Pedro the Lion, Damien Jurado, Blenderhead, and even Sunny Day Real Estate (vocalist Jeremy Enigk provided guest vocals on one POL track).… Continued →

November 24, 2023

Song of the Day: Krig - Throw Your Pistol Away

Brazilian death metallers Krig have been making Christ-centered metal since 2007. The band formed in their native Belo Horizonte in southeastern Brazil, and release their technical and brutal Feed Me independently in 2007. They proceeded to release three more albums across the next 6 years, culminating in some of the strongest Christian metal by any band from any continent, and especially from their home country. Some members have since relocated to Canada, making it difficult to keep creating music as a whole. But members have been involved in other projects as well.… Continued →

November 17, 2023

Song of the Day: Cast in Stone - You Can't Hold Me Back

Cast in Stone was a hardcore band from California, who recorded their first cassette demo in 1998. Their early material was that old school meets new school subgenre sometimes called “tough guy hardcore.” It’s no surprise then that some of the members also did stints in Sleeping Giant, xDEATHSTARx, mainstream Bleeding Through, Point of Recognition and hardcore supergroup Dodgin’ Bullets. They recorded an EP for indie Warfare Records in 2000, a 3-way split release with Point of Recognition and Torn in Two for Facedown in 2001, and then a final cassette demo in 2001.… Continued →

November 10, 2023

Song of the Day: M.C.R.G. - The Lord's House

Early Christian rap is a thing of beauty. Similarly to mainstream rap, early examples–though they give insight to the development of the genre–often suffer from simplistic lyrics, weak production, and/or rapping styles that are now outdated and sound lazy by today’s standards. However, we must remember that the genre took decades to develop. In fact, the early 90s were a tough era for the style. It had started to become mainstream and risked disappearing into a subgenre of pop music until it was rescued by gangsta rap and alternative rap a few years later, pushing the genre to new styles and heights, though not without controversy.… Continued →

November 6, 2023

REVIEW : Teeth for Eyes - Teeth for Eyes EP

This punk rock supergroup features ex-members of Crux, Empty Tomb, Cicero, and Gov’t Hate Mail. So you can see why I was excited about hearing this disc. The EP contains 7 songs, clocks in around 17 minutes, and comes as a pro-CDr in a standard jewel case with a single panel insert with credits and no lyrics. Musically what we have here is no frills punk rock and roll. It’s not quite as spastic as Crux, and doesn’t have the hardcore/thrash leanings of Empty Tomb. When comparing to its members previous projects, it’s probably closest to Gov’t Hate Mail, but just slightly heavier than that project.… Continued →

November 3, 2023

Song of the Day: The Cynics - Rock Apocalypse

This punk/new wave band from Alaska released one 4-song EP via 7″ vinyl in 1980, entitled Beat the Cynics for their native Unregulated Records. The band was contemporary with other punk acts at the time who had already started shifting their sound to either new wave or post-punk. The Cynics don’t sound too far off from The Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Stranglers, and at times is reminiscent of the funky approach of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Yes, their sound is remarkably British, considering how far they were geographically from that region.… Continued →

October 27, 2023

Song of the Day: Lugsole - Out of Place

Lugsole was a noisy indie rock band from Birmingham AL with hints of post-punk and emo in their sound. Despite a significant number of releases–both independent and label-issued–they remained a fairly obscure act, whose fans were either music critics or diehard independent music aficionados. Recorded output begins in 1995 and ends in 1998, and in those four short years, they managed to release three cassette demos (two EPs and one full-length), a split 7″ with Dear Ephesus, an EP on compact disc via Daddy-O Records (who also released the first Dear Ephesus recordings), and a 3-way split CD with mainstream acts The Paper Chase and E-Class.… Continued →

October 20, 2023

Song of the Day: L.A. Symphony - Next

One of the larger, more legendary cyphers in Christian hip-hop, L.A. Symphony came to us from where else but Los Angeles. They emerged in the late 90s with a few 12″ singles and a full-length album on member Flynn Adam Atkins’ own independent label Eartube Empire, via which Flynn had also released a full-length solo album earlier. The group’s breakthrough came in the form of 2003’s The End is Now for Gotee Records. I had the privilege of booking/hosting the group for a youth event in Atlanta in the mid-2000s.… Continued →

October 18, 2023

Rusty Shipp Soliciting Crowd Support for New Album

Nautical-themed indie rock band Rusty Shipp are working on a new album. The band will be releasing Volume II of the Cosmic Innuendo story arc, following on from Volume I, entitled The Dark Side of the Ocean. There is a wide swath of reward packages ranging from $5 to $500, and from simply obtaining a copy of the album to actually recording with the band! An exciting addition at the $15 level includes a digital copy of a bonus live album recorded at AudioFeed 2023.… Continued →

October 13, 2023

Song of the Day: Mylon & Broken Heart - Again and Again (RIP Mylon)

Okay, Mylon LeFevre is a stretch for inclusion on Indie Vision Music. But hear me out. He wrote a hit song for Elvis Presley in 1964, “Without Him” for the king’s Gospel album How Great Thou Art. He was only 17 when he wrong the song (in 20 minutes according to the songwriter), and was paid $90,000 for it. He walked out with a paper bag full of cash and bought his first car, a Corvette. His connection to Gospel music came earlier, as he performed with his southern gospel singing family The LeFevres.… Continued →

October 6, 2023

Song of the Day: Holy Blood - Jerusalem

Ukraine’s Holy Blood formed in 1999, originally playing hardcore, before turning to death metal and eventually settling on a folk/black metal fusion. The band has released 6 full-length albums and an EP since 2002, with later releases featuring a strong folk influence. Waves are Dancing is their sophomore release and features a near-perfect fusion of folk metal and extreme metal, with elements of melodic death metal, thrash, and black metal. Most of the bands albums have been released in English versions in addition to recordings in their native Ukrainian tongue.… Continued →

September 29, 2023

Song of the Day: Steve Scott - Heaven Hears the Heart That Breaks

British-born poet/artist/performer Steve Scott has been involved in or connected with Christian alternative music since 1983, having emerged from Croydon (South London) via the Bowery (New York City) before winding up in Sacramento, CA with the Exit Records scene there (Seventy Sevens, Charlie Peacock, etc.) where his debut album Love in the Western World was produced by Steven Soles (of Alpha Band fame). His solo work was a gleefully artistic take on new wave and/or post-punk with literate lyrics that pointed to his art school upbringing.… Continued →

September 22, 2023

Song of the Day: Dance House Children - Once Upon Your Lips

Our feature today comes from two brothers who started making music in their teens, first as a new wave/post-punk band called Morella’s Forest (no, not that one), and then an immensely quirky synth-pop group called Dance House Children, before parting ways and forming two of the most legendary, creative, and prolific Chrindie groups ever–Joy Electric and Starflyer 59. Yes, we are talking about none other and Ronnie and Jason Martin. In the early 1990s an independent label emerged (technically started much earlier but with very limited distribution) called Blonde Vinyl.… Continued →

September 15, 2023

Song of the Day: Eternal Ryte - The Killer

This band had the glammy looks and the flashy hooks, but their sound was heavier than the stereotypes led us to believe. Riding the line between glam metal and traditional heavy metal/power metal, the band played loud, melodic tunes with lots and lots of riffs. Hailing from Hollywood, California, the band came by their glam tendencies honestly. But listen to the riffs on “The Killer.” You won’t hear anything that heavy from Poison or Def Leppard. The band released a pair of cassette demos in 1988 and their only full-length album World Requiem in 1990 before calling it quits, with drummer Scott Ernest joining the ranks of another famed Christian melodic metal band, Angelica.… Continued →

September 12, 2023

Wedding Party have reunited--new Album announced!

90s goth rock band Wedding Party have recently announced their re-formation. A new album is coming out this month! Pre-orders and digital downloads for the album, entitled “White Horse”, are available now. Fans can purchase at the band’s website here: https://weddingpartyofficial.com or through their official Bandcamp page here: https://weddingpartyofficial.bandcamp.com/album/white-horse Physical orders will start shipping out September 28th, 2023, limited to the USA only at this time.… Continued →

September 8, 2023

Song of the Day: Memorium - A New Dawn

Let me get my opinion out of the way right off the bat–there is not enough good, quality Christian doom metal. The list gets even shorter when it’s as unique and well-executed as this track is. Memorium is the braindchild of Duane Keith, label-owner and -founder at Vision of God Records and its subsidiary, Christian Metal Underground. The band is just a two-piece: Duane on drums and vocals and Mike Shinn on bass and guitar. Sadly the band is currently on hiatus. “A New Dawn” comes from a 3-way split with The Arbiter (from Hungary), and Lucifer’s Doom (from Brazil).… Continued →

September 5, 2023

REVIEW : Puddleglum - Where the Wondering Got Us

This album came out last October, but I was only recently made aware of it when guitarist/vocalist Craig Phillips reached out for coverage, just before moving to Eurasia to work overseas. Although released on Roxx Records, Where the Wondering Got Us is a distinct departure from the label’s usual heavy metal roster. On the contrary, Puddleglum have a sound that revels in reminiscence of the 1990s. It’s what one might call ‘slacker rock.’ It’s fairly simplistic alternative rock, or maybe just rock and roll. The songs, musically speaking, feel lazy though not necessarily in a bad way.… Continued →

September 4, 2023

September 1, 2023

Song of the Day: Jimmy Hotz - Observations of a Larger Reality (R.I.P. Jimmy Hotz)

Independent Christian music lost another legend recently. Jimmy Hotz (inventor/producer/solo artist/band member/producer/engineer/electronic music pioneer/author/multi-instrumentalist–and we’re not even exaggerating) died in June. Hotz first recorded in CCM in the 1970s with the group Dove, and then a handful of other mostly CCM artists before recording his solo album–and many would say his magnum opus–Beyond the Crystal Sea, released in 1980 on Oklahoma City-based Vision Records. Fortunately for fans, Born Twice (a division of Retroactive/Boone’s Overstock) re-issued the album in 2010. Hotz wasn’t content to release one of the greatest Christian rock albums of all time (this claim is verifiable too, repeatedly making appearances in all-time lists from reputable sources like HM, CCM, and various others).… Continued →

August 26, 2023

The Empty North release new single!

The Empty North is a new rock band that focuses on a sound straight out of the 1990s–grunge/alternative rock with an independent aesthetic. While the recording took place in Juneau AK, the band is comprised of members from Juneau, Portland OR, and Chicago IL. There are two tracks available for streaming now, and another will be available for streaming in a week or so. There are also split releases in the works with The Proper English, Australia-based NoiseArt Collective, and Robochill. For now, check out “Appendage Angles,” a song based on the personal testimony of founding member Justin William Price (The Proper English, ex-Cicero).… Continued →