Artist: Fight the Fade
Album: What We Know
Label: EYC Records
Release Date: 05/11/12
Reviewer: Lee Brown
- House Of Cards
- Breaking Perceptions
- What We Know
- A Day Is coming
- I Repent (Bonus Track)
Those in the music business who believe in Jesus Christ typically take one of two paths: Either their music is “simply” shaped by their faith, or their music “simply” is their ministry. For the former group, producing exquisite music that honors their faith is the goal. For the second, the goal is the where the music will open up the life of someone, somewhere, to the truth of Christ. Of course, the word simply is in quotes to note that you can never give “simple” generalizations. However, the crux of the matter remains. Where some bands produce music and pray that God will use it, some actively seek to produce ministry and wrap it in a musical message.
Fight the Fade clearly goes beyond “simply” being influenced by their faith to a place where the band itself is first and foremost a ministry. And they don’t try to hide it. In fact, they make no bones of pointing out that they have given away over 10,000 copies of their previous albums at shows. The idea is simple, get the message out there at all costs.
It’s with this heart that the band is set to release the upcoming What We Know. The album follows their first studio album American Missionary, and features new lead vocalist Zene Smith. Stylistically it meanders from rock to grunge and incorporates a dash of some harder elements here and there. If I had to guess at the musical inspirations, I would place my bets on a mixture of bands from Disciple to Underoath.
At just eight tracks, (actually seven if you consider that the last song is listed as a bonus track) What We Know is a rather quick listen. The album begins with “House of Cards,” which you can download for free from their website. As an opening track “House of Cards” is a wise choice. The song combines many of the musical elements which recur throughout the rest of the album. In terms of the message of the song, FTF conveys a message of living for the true source of life and tearing down the fake things we try to base our life on.
“Breaking Perceptions” and the title track “What We Know” pick up where the first track leaves off with some deep guitar riffs and melodic crooning. Fans of Disciple and the 2010 (or so) line up of Decyfer Down will find a style that feels familiar and comfortable. Both tracks continue the message of hope, while moving the message sharply into the realms of declaration and testimony.
“Tomorrow” speaks to the pain of losing a loved one and not knowing where you may not get another chance to tell someone you love them. “Sycar” quickly returns the album to a testimonial focus while focusing on Jesus’ promise to “drink this water and never thirst again.” “A Day is Coming” serves as the bands’ battle song, stating, “a day is coming when we will arise. It’s already started to bottle up inside. So strap on your armor, raise your shields to the sky, cause a day is coming when your walls are set on fire.” If you only get the chance to sample one FTF track leading into this album, “A Day is Coming” is a great place to start. While it certainly doesn’t break any molds, it shows an energy and passion that characterizes FTF.
“Collapse” repeats the lyrics of the opening track, only setting them to more of a power-ballad feel. If one is to consider this the “official” final track of the album, it fits well as in its role… However, there’s the “bonus track.” From a ministry standpoint, it makes sense that “I Repent” close out the album. In concert, this is certainly that song the band should play after pretending they’re done with their set list; possibly doing a short worship set afterward for good measure. For the flow of an album, however, “Collapse” makes more sense to close out the album.
Overall: “What We Know” is ministry in the form of music. The album has potential to find FTF a solid fan base, but possibly fits too comfortably into the mold of some of the bands mentioned above (especially Disciple). Make no mistakes, though, this album is a vehicle for its message. Despite its short set list, the band refuses to miss a single opportunity to present the risen Christ. At only eight tracks, however, just as you’re becoming friends it’s time to say goodbye.