Title: Somewhere In Between
Release Date: 2009
Review By: Scott L
01. War And Peace
02. We Survive
03. The Struggle
04. And Shout From The Rooftop
06. Take My Breath Away
07. Nothing’s Gonna Stand In Our Way
08. Carry The Cross
09. All I Have To Give
10. How Great You Are
I just recently finished reading a book entitled “Another Man’s War”. It’s an autobiographical look at the life of Sam Childers, an ex-drug dealing biker turned preacher and his ongoing fight to protect orphans in Sudan and Uganda. Needless to say, he’s not your run-of-the-mill preacher. Unless your view of a run-of-the-mill preacher involves him carrying an AK-47 and a .44 along with his Bible while he’s deep in the bush on a rescue mission. It takes brass to stand up for yourself. It takes even more brass to stand up for someone else. And, by brass, I’m not so much talking AK-47 shell casings as I’m talking about courage, compassion, and love. And from what I gather, Willet has it in spades.
Willet is a 4-piece out of Westminster, Maryland that plays a hard-edged rock along the same vein as The7Method, Nailpoint, and Ashes Remain. But not only have these guys got the musical chops down, they’ve also got the heart to put behind it… and they’re not afraid to let you know it. Willet unashamedly focuses everything that they do with the dual goal of spreading the gospel and making a difference in their world.
According to the band’s MySpace, “In only 4 years as an independent band, Willet has sold over 10,000 records, adopted 3 villages in Africa, found sponsors for over 1,000 orphaned children, released 3 albums, and performed over 1,000 concerts around the world. Combining melodic vocals with heavy guitar sounds and symphonic studio production, this band from Westminster, MD tours internationally full time performing over 200 dates per year. Founding members (and brothers), Jeremy, Justin and Jordan Willet now tour with the recent addition of drummer, Caleb Douglass.”
Willet’s 10-song release entitled “Somewhere In Between”, is actually more of a double EP release. The pressed copy is comprised of 2 CDs each containing 5 songs. The first CD features the full band rocking the living daylights out of you, while the second CD features original acoustic worship songs along with chord charts to the songs. The experience of listening straight through the CDs is sorta like seeing a more spiritually-minded hard rock band live… a set of the hard stuff to start out with, followed by a time of worship. If I had to weight the two CDs against one another, I’d have to give an edge to the rock CD. This is definitely Willet’s strength. Not to say that the worship CD isn’t worth your time, it most certainly is… but as far as pure exhibition of natural talent… these guys were born to rock.
Not only aren’t these guys afraid to mix things up a bit, but they definitely have the talent to pull it off. This release exhibits a veteran maturity and great production. Which should be no surprise given the fact that this is Willet’s 4th release. Suffice to say, the experience shows.
For standout tracks I’ll pick one from each CD. From the heavy CD I’ll go with “And Shout From The Rooftop” which is an anthemic song with a powerful message. From the worship CD, I’ll go with “All I Have To Give”. Seriously, I’d be plenty stoked to hear any of these songs in a church service setting, but that one just kinda struck a nerve, if you know what I mean.
Lyrically, everything stacks up neatly. Both sets of songs have clear and concise messages and heartfelt themes. Consider one of the edgier songs, the aforementioned “And Shout From The Rooftop” which says, “I walk down the street / seeing the broken hearted / passing the poor and the sick / I know this isn’t much / it’s all that I have / here’s my open hand / I need you to come back / when poverty and wealth collide / it hits harder then a plane crash / and spreads love to the lonely and forgotten places / I found God today / He was right where He said He would be / here in the brokenness / here in the brokenness”.
Overall: Willet’s a band with buckets of talent, a nice heavy rock sound, and a heart for ministering to those far less fortunate than themselves. They may not plow through the Sudanese jungles in a burst of gunfire and the smell of cordite, but they’re making a powerful difference just the same. We’re praying for you guys.