Tag: 2000s

February 9, 2024

Song of the Day: Windy Lyre - Drink

Blonde bombshell Windy Lyre appeared seemingly out of nowhere in 1991 with her self-titled debut on Blonde Vinyl Records. Truth be told her connections to alternative Christian music ran deep, but on a personal level, which is not appropriate to go into here. The album was a refreshing display of acoustic alternative, which hinted at folk rock, jangle pop, and in a way preceded the dream pop/alt country craze that swept the middle part of the 1990s and beyond. Lyrics and music were all written by label owner Michael Knott (LSU, Lifesavers, Aunt Bettys, etc.)… Continued →

January 26, 2024

Song of the Day: Endless Sacrifice - Endless Sacrifice

Endless Sacrifice is a brutal death metal band from Argentina. The project formed in 2009, and has only had one constant member–Diego Barrera on vocals, guitar and songwriting duties. Carlos from Antidemon has provided guest vocals occasionally as well. With only one constant member, the ‘band’ has more or less remained a studio project. Nonetheless, add Endless Sacrifice to the long list of quality, brutally heavy bands from South America. Their debut, Dominio Total was released in 2016 on two different Latin American independent labels: Bolivia’s Vampire Records and Mexico’s Warriors Records before finally seeing a U.S.… Continued →

January 19, 2024

Song of the Day: Melk the G6-49 - The Instantaneous Mobilization of All The Resources In The BURROW and All The Forces of My Body...

Milk the G6-49 was a two-man noise rock/math rock band from Indianapolis, and spearheaded by Joyful Noise Recordings founder/owner Karl Hofstetter. The band was entirely instrumental, yet reflected biblical themes in its song titles and album titles. Their debut is based around the “writing on the wall” story from Daniel chapter 5. Having said that, it’s not clear the band’s (nor label’s) current take on faith, despite early recordings being inspired by and/or dedicated to it. The band was active in recording from 2001 – 2004 and then went quiet until releasing a 7″ in 2022, so here’s hoping that means the band will kick back up.… Continued →

November 17, 2023

Song of the Day: Cast in Stone - You Can't Hold Me Back

Cast in Stone was a hardcore band from California, who recorded their first cassette demo in 1998. Their early material was that old school meets new school subgenre sometimes called “tough guy hardcore.” It’s no surprise then that some of the members also did stints in Sleeping Giant, xDEATHSTARx, mainstream Bleeding Through, Point of Recognition and hardcore supergroup Dodgin’ Bullets. They recorded an EP for indie Warfare Records in 2000, a 3-way split release with Point of Recognition and Torn in Two for Facedown in 2001, and then a final cassette demo in 2001.… Continued →

September 29, 2023

Song of the Day: Steve Scott - Heaven Hears the Heart That Breaks

British-born poet/artist/performer Steve Scott has been involved in or connected with Christian alternative music since 1983, having emerged from Croydon (South London) via the Bowery (New York City) before winding up in Sacramento, CA with the Exit Records scene there (Seventy Sevens, Charlie Peacock, etc.) where his debut album Love in the Western World was produced by Steven Soles (of Alpha Band fame). His solo work was a gleefully artistic take on new wave and/or post-punk with literate lyrics that pointed to his art school upbringing.… Continued →

August 4, 2023

Song of the Day: The Combat Junkies - Fight or Die

This old-school punk rock band The Combat Junkies, hailed from North Carolina, and featured a classic hardcore punk sound mixed with hints of oi/streetpunk and new school punk. To be honest, I’m not sure why this band didn’t make it bigger than they did. Their raw yet appropriately produced sound would have appealed to fans of 7-10 Split, Squad Five-0, One-21 and the like, and yet they seemed to fly underneath the radar of most fans. The Combat Junkies released two full-length albums. The War Within came out in 2002 on Clumsy Records, and Fight or Die .Continued →

June 9, 2023

Song of the Day: Saint Spirit - Volt

This thrash metal band hailed from Brazil in the region of Belford Roxo, just outside of Rio de Janeiro. They were active in the mid-90s, playing a form of thrash that was occasionally influenced by related styles like death metal, groove metal, and metalcore. They broke up in the late 90s and then re-formed in 2001, and have been active on and off. This video was posted in 2017, but I’m not aware of an accompanying album to go with it. Nonetheless, the band has had at least one full-length and one EP, both on the Brazilian indie label Força Eterna Records.… Continued →

May 12, 2023

Song of the Day: Twothirtyeight - Songs Will Write the Words

Early 2000s emo, you gotta love it! One of the best, and painfully one of the most obscure in the genre was twothirtyeight (or sometimes 238). The band hailed from Pensacola, FL in the state’s panhandle. Florida seemed to be a haven for emo and hardcore during that era, and many of those bands ended up on Birmingham, AL’s Takehold Records, and then eventually on Tooth & Nail when they bought Takehold’s roster and much of its back-catalogue. Twothirtyeight played a style of emo that minimized the hardcore influence and instead delved into a deeply emotional form of indie rock, like secular counterparts in Braid, Cursive, or Christie Front Drive.… Continued →

May 5, 2023

Song of the Day: Dodgin' Bullets - Knife To Your Heart

Since the genre first emerged in the early 1980s, hardcore (originally hardcore punk) has splintered into dozens of sub-sub-subgenres including melodic hardcore, beatdown, old school hardcore, new school/chugga chugga, d-beat, crust punk/crustcore, metalcore, emocore, and so forth. By and large my favorite artists have generally been those who kept closest to the genre’s origins, even if they took those beginnings in new directions. The old slogan (which I’ve often quoted here on this site) “loud, fast rules!” is apropos here. In the late 90s/early 00s a revival of the style emerged, sometimes referred to as “tough guy hardcore.”… Continued →

March 31, 2023

Song of the Day: Grave Declaration - Change of Heart

Grave Declaration is (was?) a symphonic/atmospheric black metal project from Norway. While that’s not so unusual, what set the band apart was its distinct emphasis on worship. Self-touted as “worship metal” the band’s lyrical emphasis was on a praiseworthy connection to the Creator. Their sound is firmly within the atmospheric branch of black metal, as opposed to the more raw, primitive sounds often associated with the genre. With ties to stalwarts Antestor, and underground legends Vaakevandring, Grave Declaration had the pedigree and the chops to prove their worthiness.… Continued →

March 17, 2023

Song of the Day: The Discarded - Religious Lie

I first heard of this LA punk band when I was running distro in the early 2000s. They had an EP out on The Legion (short-lived label that only released 3 titles), which I began stocking, and then they put out another release on the upcoming Clumsy Records (also home to Combat Junkies, The Stivs and a few others). I had the chance to catch them live at Cornerstone 2002, which was a fantastic show! In fact, that year was a great year for punk at the festival, as I also saw Huntingtons, The Remnants, One Bad Pig, World Against World, and Headnoise that year among others.… Continued →

February 10, 2023

Song of the Day: Dr. Onionskin - FJR

Dr. Onionskin has a long and somewhat interesting history. Born Shane Ries, he had a brief career in the 80s in mod and power pop bands (a fact I only recently discovered), but first came into CCM prominence with the oddly effective project Hymn Jim’s Gospel Gems (1995), which fused traditional hymns with dance music. He re-branded a year later as Dr. Onionskin and changed styles to acid jazz, releasing the quirky, instrumental and semi-brilliant Split Pea Soup. Then in 1996 he changed styles again, though still building on jazz-electronica fusions, and emerged with Bully and oh my gosh, what a record!… Continued →

December 9, 2022

Song of the Day: Embraced - Hold My Hand

Embraced was a short-lived hardcore band from Florida, active in the early 2000s. I was able to catch the band live a couple of times at local gigs and mini-festivals, and enjoyed their shows. I always liked their semi-melodic take on hardcore (I mean, they were from Florida, after all!) They were clearly playing HC, but with hints of emo and indie rock at times. Perhaps in a similar vein to Bloodshed, Beloved, and Underoath, but with their own take on it. The band only released one mini-album, the 7-song An Orchestrated Failure, in 2002 for Theory 8 Records (who also an album by The Goodbye Letter and an early split with Copeland and Pacifico, among others).… Continued →

December 2, 2022

Song of the Day: Olivia the Band - Stars and Stripes

I’ve never been a huge fan of pop-punk–just dabbled here and there–but darn it all if this isn’t a catchy tune! I popped this into the car CD player earlier this week, having not listened to it in years, and that opening tune was so ridiculously familiar! I think I must have heard it on a compilation somewhere too for me to remember it so well. Anyway, Olivia the Band was originally from Hawaii, but eventually relocated to San Diego. They released their self-titled debut in 2005 on Essential Records.… Continued →

October 28, 2022

Song of the Day: Remnant Militia - Syberian Winters

Not much is known about this underground hip-hop crew. Their recorded output consists of two independent releases: a cassette demo from 1997, and a full-length CD in 2004 with the moniker shortened to simply “Remnant” (not to be confused with the indie rock band that eventually became Exeter Flud). It was in 1997 or 98 that my good friend Jay (AKA DJ Deikon) who was huge into underground holy hip-hop introduced me to them. I was immediately intrigued by their creative backing tracks and atypical lyrical flow.… Continued →

October 21, 2022

Song of the Day: They Sang as They Slew - City Highs, City Lows

Contrary to what the band name suggests, They Sang as They Slew was not a metal or hardcore band, actually quite far from either. If you hear similarities to the indie rock of Luxury, it’s because half of the band came from Luxury while they were on a break from touring–namely guitarist Jamie Bozeman and bassist Chris Foley (both of whom are Orthodox priests in their day job). I hope some fans recognize the band name from the epic battle scene in Lord of the Rings (the book, not the movie).… Continued →

September 9, 2022

Song of the Day: Torn in Two - Plastic Dreams for Shining Rings

There was a lot of hype surrounding this band when they were first signed by Facedown Records, in large part based on the fact they had three vocalists. While the hype, and sadly also the band, were short-lived (they only released one full-length and one 3-way split album), they definitely generated a healthy buzz in their short existence. And for good reason too. Soli Deo Gloria (roughly translated as “to the glory of God alone”) dropped in 2001, and stylistically the album shows its age. Torn in Two were building off of the heavy, metallic, chugga-chugga or “new school” style hardcore of the 1990s, and adding more metallic leads and riffs without ever fully crossing over into metalcore.… Continued →

August 26, 2022

Song of the Day: Tourniquet - Tears of Korah

Many fitting tributes have been written about the one and only, the mighty drummer/musician/song-writer/animal rights activist Ted Kirkpatrick. So much has been said about his life, his music, and his impact that I can’t really add much here. Ted’s incredible musicianship is impossible to overstate. He was revered even by the most ardent anti-religion folks, for his musicality alone, including folks like King Diamond and Marty Friedman. While I never got to meet Ted, I did have the chance to see Tourniquet live once. It was their first tour with Luke Easter as the new lead vocalist.… Continued →

August 19, 2022

Song of the Day: Braille - This Year

Rapper Braille (born Bryan Winchester) has been making hip-hop since at least 1998, first as a solo artist and then additionally as a member of Lightheaded (featured in an earlier Song of the Day), Acts 29, and most recently the worshipful project Beautiful Eulogy. The Portland-based rapper has released just under a dozen albums, including independent releases, a Japanese import, and a collaboration with Symbolyc One, not including his work in the aforementioned cyphers. Although I’d heard of him through his association with Syntax Records, it was his 6th album Box of Rhymes where I was first introduced to his music.… Continued →

August 12, 2022

Song of the Day: Twotimer - I Forget

Pop-punk band Twotimer released 2 albums and then called it quits. Very little is known about the band, other than their recorded output. After a self-titled and self-released debut in 1998, the band signed to punk stalwarts Screaming Giant Records and issued See What Happens from Here in 2000. The album featured snot-nosed, yet melodic tunes that bordered on pop-punk and new school/skate punk, but with vocal harmonies. Recommended for fans of Side Walk Slam, Shorthanded, and early MxPX. “I Forget” is taken from the Screaming Giant full-length album.… Continued →

August 5, 2022

Song(s) of the Day: Bloodgood - Crucify / The Messiah

If you’ve been following social media regarding the Christian scene at all over the recent weeks/months, you’ll likely be aware of Michael Bloodgood’s recent health issues, culminating in his death last week. Michael was a co-founder, and obviously namesake, of the legendary and seminal Christian metal band Bloodgood. The band has been active since the 1980s, with their first album coming out in 1986. They stood out from the pack in various ways: the theatrical singing and stage antics of lead vocalist Les Carlsen, the top-notch music and writing of the band, and their no-compromise approach to lyrics and music ministry.… Continued →

July 29, 2022

Song of the Day: Vaakevandring - Some Day

This Norwegian band formed in 1999, and sadly by 2007 had called it quits. Hailing from Nannestad, just outside Oslo, they played a formed of atmospheric BM that appealed to many who heard them. While their lifespan was short, their impact was huge. You can still read accolades from fans on music-related social media pages, and band members have also been associated with a number of other, more well-known bands including Antestor, Frosthardr, and Grave Declaration. “Some Day” is taken from their 3-song self-titled demo CD, which was also re-issued a few years later by Momentum Scandinavium with an extra song as Vaakevandring.… Continued →

June 24, 2022

Song of the Day: Bruce Cockburn - Wondering Where the Lions Are

This veteran, Canadian singer-songwriter has been active since at least the early 70s (probably earlier), since his debut eponymous album came out in 1970. I first became acquainted with his music in the 1990s, reading an album review in CCM Magazine, but also hearing equally about his accolades from the secular press. I took a chance on buying a live album, when I found a copy of his 1990 live album (he’s done at least 5 live albums), Bruce Cockburn Live on cassette. I’d heard he was a folk artist, and a songwriter, so I was prepared for the mostly acoustic sounds on the tape.… Continued →

June 17, 2022

Song of the Day: Travail - Weakling

Hailing from the fertile heavy music scene of the greater DFW region, and specifically Ft. Worth, Travail mixed heavy rap-core and nu metal riffs with dark tones and lyrics about the Christian struggle. Heavier than most in the genre, the band was sometimes referred to as “gothic rap-core” due to the darker tones and minor keys. Yet the lyrics pointed to higher things: I’ve failed you I’ve lied to you Yet you forgive and let me live Oh God help my weakness Oh give me your strength Father help me I’ll go to any length On my face, on my chest, on my knees God help me please My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak The band released a split EP with Luti-Kriss (who, of course, eventually became Norma Jean), and two full-length albums: Anchor of My Soul for the secular Pluto Records and Beautiful Loneliness for Metrovox, a sub-label Metro One.… Continued →

February 18, 2022

Song of the Day: The Souls Unrest - Rising

Brace yourself. The Souls Unrest has one of the more complicated histories in all of Christian metal. The roots of the band lie in old school punk band Spudgun, who released one album on Bulletproof Records (a division of Gray Dot). That band got heavier and darker, changing styles so much that a new name was warranted–World Against World. That version of the band also released one album (an amazing album at that) for Bulletproof, before morphing again. A short-lived project called The Orcrist followed, but released no official recordings.… Continued →

August 14, 2021

Radical Radical to Release Debut Full Length August 27th

One of my most anticipated albums of 2021 from a highly recommended new band by the name of Radical Radical, drops on August 27th. This emo driven pop-punk album is sure to impress just about anyone who gives it a chance and the nostalgia dripping from your stereo will be enough to overwhelm the senses in a most powerful way. Get into the new record by watching the teaser below and make sure to mark August 27th on your (digital) calendars for the release of Radical Radical “I Feel Like I Want To”.… Continued →