Artist: Remedy Drive
Label: Centricity Music
Release Date: 9/18/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- Better than Life
- Lost Cause
- Resuscitate Me
- God I Hope So
- What are we Waiting For
- Don’t Forget
- Make It Bright
- Crystal Sea
- Hold On
After exploding onto the Christian music scene with their Word label debut record Daylight is Coming, Remedy Drive has had a personnel change, an independent EP, as well as a change in label and now a highly anticipated sophomore album in Resuscitate. After David Zach’s three brothers left the band in early 2011, the band was able to undergo and transition through this massive change to produce an underrated EP Light Makes A Way, soldiering on to create great music filled with a God-focus on His glory and mercy for creation. Their first full length album in 4 years, Resuscitate is full of rock melody goodness as I hear for the bands universal appeal- still holding onto their roots of faith, while also branching out to create songs that can easily be played on mainstream radio. At times sounding like Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman, David’s infectious and enthusiastic vocals has created an album worthy of a potential Dove Award nomination next year, with radio hit singles ‘Better than Life’ and ‘Resuscitate Me’. With an added sense of maturity, these four men have created an album full of hope, with those who listen hopefully proclaiming along with the band that ‘…Your love is better than life…’ (‘Better than Life’).
‘Better Than Life’ starts off with a rousing piano hook followed by a grand entrance filled with electric guitars as David leaps into the technique, of reminding himself of his feelings, and what Jesus has done in light of the death and resurrection. With many listeners able to agree with David, that we are all ‘…exhausted…was lost…it cost so much…’; David reminds us all of God’s love and that it is indeed better than anything that we can ever muster up here on earth. With a piano focus, David has an ability to draw us into the realm of truths and declarations, of our constant need and His supply of our freedom from the internal struggle of trying to trek through life on our own. Full of a freshness and enthusiastic passion, ‘Better than Life’ is an anthem destined to climb the radio charts as we focus not upon our circumstances but on how ‘…You hold the stars in my skies, You put the light in my eyes, Your love keeps me alive…’ A trademark Remedy Drive song full of dynamism, well done guys for creating this first single that is one of my favourites from Resuscitate!
‘Resuscitate Me’ reminds me of a Switchfoot melody, both in the gruging guitars and the vocal distortion, to the point where at some instances, David can be somewhat mistaken with Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot. Singing about how God makes us new and ‘resuscitates’ us every time we are in need of a renewal, both of our faith and our lives in general; this-guitar driven track will be able to please the rock enthusiasts. Enjoyable and a certain nomination for Dove Award Rock Song of the Year next year, David cries out to Christ to come save him in the moment of despair, that ‘…I need You to save me, it’s not too late to resuscitate me…’, with the energy building to a crescendo. Fitting right at home on Switchfoot’s Vice Verses, Remedy Drive have written a great melody of surrender, ready to motivate listeners as we all awaken to His wonder and glory. ‘Make It Bright’ is another edgier track full of vibrant liveliness as the band give their plea to God to ignite the fire within them, to ‘…light a spark in the dark and make it bright inside of me…’ Full of vocal distortion similar to ‘Resuscitate Me’, these edgier tracks create a different atmosphere in an otherwise piano-pop infused musical genre that the band is famous for. Providing another avenue to view the band, Remedy Drive is able to introduce another musical genre and thrive at it- that amongst all the noise and pedal distortion, the cry is clear, for God to come and invade our hearts to create a masterpiece of His permeating love, to seep through our hearts that are forever transforming to continue to beat in time with God’s. Well done guys for these sparks of Christian rock goodness.
‘God I Hope So’ is a ballad based upon David’s brother’s decisions to leave the band, with David singing about why things didn’t go the way he thought. This piano-prominent melody reminds us that of the frailty of our earthly relationships and leads us to Christ in the midst of our hurt and pain. As David cries out in the chorus, ‘…maybe time doesn’t ever let you choose, and learning how to find is learning how to lose, I don’t know – but God I hope so…’, we are met with him full of brokenness and hurt, falling down in surrender to a God that will come in a reveal His plans (in due time) and work everything to good and glory. ‘Lost Cause’ continues the themes of ‘Make it Bright’ and ‘Resuscitate Me’, switching the grunging guitar for the mesmerising piano hooks as the band boldly asserts their identity in the chorus, knowing that ‘…I might be lost, I might be broken, but I’m not a lost cause…’ What a powerful message to soak our hearts into- that whatever we have done or will do, we aren’t a lost cause in the eyes of our Father. This song even has a rousing electric guitar solo that will stir up listeners to praise our Father for His ultimate sacrifice and giving us the encouragement to press on with our daily moments of life. ‘Don’t Forget’ starts with a strong drum beat and gang vocals to provide encouragement of our identity in Christ; and similar thematically to Britt Nicole’s ‘Gold’, David reminds us that ‘…when you can’t remember who you are, don’t forget your purpose, you belong, you’re a part of something special…’ ‘Glory’ is a guitar driven worship song of realisation, that ‘…no height no depth could ever contain, no life, no death could stand in the way…’, of the outpouring love Christ continually gives us. Full of praise and adoration, this pop-synth track is enough to propel the band into a new ventured territory of a potential worship-ccm album sometime in the future. ‘Hold On’ is the last song on the album, and brings the themes full circle as he is joined with a choir of voices in the chorus reminding listeners to hold onto God’s promises, that ‘…when everything is broken – everything is gone, when there’s nothing left to hold onto, You give me something better…’ This guitar driven song is a nice end to an album that gives us a reminder that God is our only One that we can count on, the constant in our lives that doesn’t change. What a great melody (co-written with ex-Stellar Kart guitarist Jon Howard) to finish off this great pop/rock album!
Overall: ‘Crystal Sea’ is a wonder to behold as it speaks about the day when we’ll see Christ face to face. As we have this eternal glory to look forward to, we can rest in the meantime in the songs that Remedy Drive has given to us- a bit of piano, guitar and drums moulded together to create different genre-related melodies all with the same focus- reminding creation of a Creator who has our future in His hands- urging us to trust Him as we open our hearts to His invading and pursuing love and redemption. Still going strong after a personnel change, David and his three new band members have created an album that is one of the standouts of September, along with Group 1 Crew’s Fearless and hopefully Matthew West’s Into the Light. Well done guys for such a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
RIYL: Switchfoot, Skillet, Kutless, Superchick
Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3