One of the few rockabilly bands in the Christian rock scene, This Train was even more rare in that they focused on more traditional rockabilly sounds, as opposed to its faster, punked-up cousin psychobilly, which was better represented in our scene (The Calicoes, Ruby Joe, Prophecy, Blaster the Rocketman). I’ve always found it curious how certain subgenres really catch on in faith circles (metalcore, metallic industrial, emo), while others go largely untouched (EBM, post-rock, folk-punk, etc.) Maybe someone could analyze that and write a PhD dissertation on it!
Prolegomena aside, This Train was yet another project of Mark Robertson who had already cut his teeth playing with Altar Boys, Under Midnight, Rich Mullins (as part of the Ragamuffin Band), Brighton, The Stand, and who knows how many others. Only Dale Yob and Chuck Cummings can rival the number of 90s Christian bands played in.
Speaking of Mullins, “Screen Door” is a cover of his tune. It’s a playful take on the age-old theological discussion of faith and works, as highlighted in the epistle of James:
It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine
Faith without works, baby–it just ain’t happening!
One is your left hand, one is your right
It takes two strong arms to hold on tight
The song is taken from the band’s third album, The Emperor’s New Band, released in 1999 through Organic Records. The album also dabbled in the swing revival which was taking place in the late 90s, spearheaded by the likes of Brian Setzer Orchestra.