In the late 80s/early 90s I was a straight-up metalhead. Thrash was my favorite variety, but I dipped into other stuff as well. But I had started developing a taste for punk too. The pace and beat of hardcore punk was actually very similar to thrash, but with different guitar tones. Bands like Nobody Special, The Lead, The Crucified, and even Breakfast with Amy opened me up to new possibilities in edgy music. Then along came the album Poplife by the Lifesavers. I’d only been into Christian rock since ’88, so I knew nothing of Michael Knott’s history (or the many other incarnations and alter-egoes of his various projects). But I read a review of this album and thought I’d give it a listen. The raw, sloppy, crunchy guitar rhythms was like nothing I’d ever heard, and it instantly appealed to me. There was something about the lazy, California sound of it all that I connected with. In fact, I remember smiling to myself upon the first listen. The album is a left-field collections of songs unequalled in sound or scope with the Christian scene. “Surf with God,” although a bit twee or naive actually resonates a lot with me; its lyrics describe hanging out with friends, doing what you love (in their case surfing), doing Bible studies together, hanging out and doing life as fellow believers. It’s entirely possible that the world contained within the song doesn’t actually exist, but it make me wish it did!