Tag: 80s

July 5, 2024

Song of the Day: The Living - Hideaway

One of the funnest and most interesting aspects of the Christian indie/punk/metal/whatever scene is that no matter how long you’ve been involved and no matter how much of an expert you may think you are, there are always new–or in this case, old–bands to discover. I found out about The Living via our friends over at Christian Tape Underground, a blog that specializes in unearthing rare and underground cassette tapes and demos from indie bands of all genres. The Living was a great little post-punk/goth rock band with lots of potential.… Continued →

June 21, 2024

Song of the Day: U2 - Pride (In the Name of Love)

Let’s get this out of the way. Some of you hate U2 for one reason or another–the ‘pompous’ nature of the lead singer, the ‘self-importance’ of their message, the fact they had the audacity to include a free digital album to people who didn’t ask for it. Others of you will love U2–the ingenuity, the forward-thinking approach to a genre that was struggling when they reinvigorated with new life, and the sincerity with which they tackled a whole host of social issues. Then a few more will be indifferent to the band whatsoever.… Continued →

May 31, 2024

Song of the Day: Famous Names - Talk it Out

Not so much a new band, as a continuation of a previous one, Famous Names was essentially the same line-up as Writz. The core of the band is husband-wife duo Steve and Bev Fairnie. They had begun earlier in the 1970s as Fish Co. doing folk-pop not too dissimilar to a lot of Jesus Music of the day, before heading into a distinct punk/new wave direction in the late 70s as Writz. However, they had to change their name due to an American pop group of the same name.… Continued →

May 16, 2024

What's Your Damage and Captive Portal "Exit"

This incredible new 80’s synthwave version of What’s Your Damage song “Exit” has been beautifully assembled in part by Captive Portal and just released to all digital networks. Make sure you head to your favorite and give this song a listen. For us 80’s music fans and those who grew up as little ones in that decade, this song is the perfect tribute and flows oh so well. Really, check it out. Follow: captiveportal and whatsyourdamage_chicago .… Continued →

April 26, 2024

Song of the Day: Leviticus - The Winner

Truth be told, heavy metal was my entry point into any kind of independent Christian music. I mean, I started out on Petra, Amy Grant, and Russ Taff as a young teenager, but it wasn’t long before Jerusalem, Whitecross, and Sacred Warrior were taking up my listening space. One of the pioneers of Christian metal was Swedish band Leviticus. The band formed in 1981 in the town of Skövde. They recorded 4 albums, plus an alternative/Swedish language version of their debut, before breaking up in the early 90s.… Continued →

April 19, 2024

Song of the Day: Peace 586 - Hear Me Now

SoCal rapper Peace 586 (born Rene Vasquez) has been hitting the hip-hop game hard since the late 80s (first as M.C. Peace), as a member of the seminal and innovative Freedom of Soul, and through numerous collaborations with artists like S.F.C., Jon Gibson, Scott Blackwell, J.C. and the Boyz, and many others. He went solo following the break-up of Freedom of Soul and released his first solo album in 1996. As impressive as that is, what’s even more impressive is the fact that he’s still been active as recently as 2023, releasing a full-length solo album on his own label.… Continued →

March 15, 2024

Song of the Day: Michael Knott - Jail

As you’ve undoubtedly already read elsewhere, and seen all over the chrindie corner of the internet, Michael Knott died earlier this week. Much has been written about the man, the music, the iconic artist, so I don’t intend to re-tread any of that ground here. This is a Song of the Day post after all. Nonetheless it does seem fitting to use this week’s SOTD column to feature more of Knott’s work. He wrote and recorded so many incredible albums from the 1980s through the 2020s that it’s hard to pick a “best” or even a “favorite.”… Continued →

February 2, 2024

Song of the Day: World Theatre - Water Spill

World Theatre released only one album, the brilliant eponymous full-length, for Frontline-imprint Graceland Records in 1989. But the band’s credentials are deeper than that might suggest. Founder Tim McAllister (vocals, guitar, bass, programming) had previously been in another one-album-only new wave band called Flock 14. Jim Abegg (AKA Jimmy A, from Vector and more recently The Ascendants) provided some guitar work. Gene Eugene (Adam Again, Lost Dogs, hundreds of production and studio credits) mixed the album. And piano and keyboards (along with some additional bass guitar work) were provided by none other than Cincinnati’s own Linford Detweiler (this was pre-Over the Rhine).… Continued →

January 12, 2024

Song of the Day: Tonio K. - Without Love

Tonio K. was one of those hard-to-classify artists. He employed elements of rock, alternative, new wave, singer-songwriter, and more. He was too alternative for the mainstream, but not quite weird enough for indie rock. Let’s just call it rock and roll, shall we? Born in Southern California, the son of Armenian immigrants (born Steven Krikorian), K began his career with garage rock band The Raik’s Progress (who opened for Buffalo Springfield), then played a stint with Buddy Holly’s band the Crickets, but he got his first real break with a publishing deal for Intersong.… Continued →

December 8, 2023

Song of the Day: Lightforce - Metal Missionary

Lightforce was a heavy metal band from Australia, active in the late 1980s. They recorded 3 cassette demos from 1986-87, before getting the attention of US-based Pure Metal Records. The band’s label debut Mystical Thieves was a unique entry in Christian metal. While based in traditional heavy metal, it touched on speed metal and power metal without ever fully crossing into thrash territory. It was heavy, loud, and raw. In 1990 the band recorded a fourth and final demo called Break the Curse, which saw the band going in an even heavier direction, just before changing their name.… Continued →

November 3, 2023

Song of the Day: The Cynics - Rock Apocalypse

This punk/new wave band from Alaska released one 4-song EP via 7″ vinyl in 1980, entitled Beat the Cynics for their native Unregulated Records. The band was contemporary with other punk acts at the time who had already started shifting their sound to either new wave or post-punk. The Cynics don’t sound too far off from The Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Stranglers, and at times is reminiscent of the funky approach of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Yes, their sound is remarkably British, considering how far they were geographically from that region.… Continued →

October 13, 2023

Song of the Day: Mylon & Broken Heart - Again and Again (RIP Mylon)

Okay, Mylon LeFevre is a stretch for inclusion on Indie Vision Music. But hear me out. He wrote a hit song for Elvis Presley in 1964, “Without Him” for the king’s Gospel album How Great Thou Art. He was only 17 when he wrong the song (in 20 minutes according to the songwriter), and was paid $90,000 for it. He walked out with a paper bag full of cash and bought his first car, a Corvette. His connection to Gospel music came earlier, as he performed with his southern gospel singing family The LeFevres.… 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 →

September 15, 2023

Song of the Day: Eternal Ryte - The Killer

This band had the glammy looks and the flashy hooks, but their sound was heavier than the stereotypes led us to believe. Riding the line between glam metal and traditional heavy metal/power metal, the band played loud, melodic tunes with lots and lots of riffs. Hailing from Hollywood, California, the band came by their glam tendencies honestly. But listen to the riffs on “The Killer.” You won’t hear anything that heavy from Poison or Def Leppard. The band released a pair of cassette demos in 1988 and their only full-length album World Requiem in 1990 before calling it quits, with drummer Scott Ernest joining the ranks of another famed Christian melodic metal band, Angelica.… Continued →

September 1, 2023

Song of the Day: Jimmy Hotz - Observations of a Larger Reality (R.I.P. Jimmy Hotz)

Independent Christian music lost another legend recently. Jimmy Hotz (inventor/producer/solo artist/band member/producer/engineer/electronic music pioneer/author/multi-instrumentalist–and we’re not even exaggerating) died in June. Hotz first recorded in CCM in the 1970s with the group Dove, and then a handful of other mostly CCM artists before recording his solo album–and many would say his magnum opus–Beyond the Crystal Sea, released in 1980 on Oklahoma City-based Vision Records. Fortunately for fans, Born Twice (a division of Retroactive/Boone’s Overstock) re-issued the album in 2010. Hotz wasn’t content to release one of the greatest Christian rock albums of all time (this claim is verifiable too, repeatedly making appearances in all-time lists from reputable sources like HM, CCM, and various others).… Continued →

July 21, 2023

Song of the Day: Sacred Warrior - Sword of Victory

Everyone has their gateway. That first band or artist that got them into a particular style of music. I got into Christian rock in 1988, first hearing and enjoying artists like Petra and Russ Taff, and then quickly moving on to Jerusalem and Whitecross. But this band right here–Sacred Warrior–was my gateway to true Heavy Metal with a capital HM. They had no pop songs, no sleazy hooks or glammed-out looks, but their debut album Rebellion was full of heavy riffs, melodic (but not glam) vocals, and super-heavy and dark chord progressions.… Continued →

April 7, 2023

Song of the Day: Vengeance Rising - Human Sacrifice

The first time I heard this band, I was completely blown away. The year was 1988. I was about 14 years old, and I had just started getting into Christian metal via bands like Jerusalem, Whitecross, and Barren Cross. Sacred Warrior was probably the heaviest I’d heard at the time. Then one night I was listening to KOKF 91FM out of Oklahoma City, a Christian radio station that had a late night metal show. I heard the most intense, loud, gnarly thing I’d ever heard in my life.… Continued →

March 24, 2023

Song of the Day: Elim Hall - Hypothermia

Elim Hall was ahead of their time in so many ways. It’s a real shame that they are just a blip on the radar screen of indie rock nowadays, as their preeminence is hard to over state. One of the earliest alternative rock bands to be signed to a major label in the CCM market, their only label release was snappy, melodic, memorable, and well-produced (somewhat surprisingly by Gary Chapman, along with veteran Jesus rocker Tim Marsh). This Canadian band wrote incredibly catchy, somewhat complex (for pop music) songs that were primarily in the power pop realm, but infused with touches of new wave and at times a punk-like urgency.… Continued →

January 20, 2023

Song of the Day: Geoff Mann - Hope Hospital

Geoff Mann was a fairly well-known prog rock artist in the UK, but unfortunately his renown didn’t quite make it across the Atlantic. Having been the vocalist in an early incarnation of famed UK prog rock band Twelfth Night, he effectively left the band when they moved to London and he decided to remain in Manchester. Sometime in the early 80s, Geoff became a Christian through a “deep and lasting Christian conversion” (for more info, check out this article). At this point Geoff begins making very creative, even experimental prog rock.… Continued →

December 30, 2022

Song of the Day: Haven - The Calling

Haven was a heavy metal/power metal band from New Jersey active in the late 80s and early 90s. The band released two stellar full-length albums for R.E.X. and a third independent release that moved away from heavy metal into hard rock and alternative territory. Fans were often divided on Haven, particularly over the vocals. They were kind of a love ’em or hate ’em thing. Personally, I really enjoyed the unique style. There were enough similarities to Geoff Tate (Queensryche), Mike Lee (Barren Cross), or Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) to draw comparisons, and yet there was a roughness to the high-pitched vocals that made them stand out.… Continued →

December 16, 2022

Song of the Day: Walk on Water - Time

This brilliant synth-pop band hailed from Sweden. They released one fantastic album in 1989, that hit the States the next year, then disappeared until 1994 when they re-surfaced–though just barely–with a Swedish-language album, that didn’t make much of an impact outside of their homeland. Their debut, the nearly-eponymous W.O.W., was beautiful, but sadly never got the attention it deserved. Recorded primarily in the synth-pop style, it also had hints of Europop and new wave. In short, it was too alternative to be mainstream pop or CCM, and too poppy to appeal to fans of alternative rock.… Continued →

November 18, 2022

Song of the Day: The Awful Truth - Ghost of Heaven

The Awful Truth–the best band that (almost) never was! In the late 80s I was huge into King’s X and what would soon become known as the “Houston sound.” It was part progressive metal, part groove, part rock, and lots of harmonies thrown in. I’d started hearing about this new band (at the time) called The Awful Truth, who had recorded their debut album for mainstream Metal Blade Records, and sadly broke up before it even came out. In fact, by the time the album was released, two thirds of The Awful Truth had formed a new band with two other members, the now-legendary Galactic Cowboys, increasing that groovy-metallic Houston Sound to yet another band.… Continued →

November 11, 2022

Song of the Day: Body and Soul - The Graylands

I first discovered this band from Tim Henderson (Warlord/Mr Bishops Fist) one night as we were talking about obscure Christian bands from the past. Body and Soul was a one-off solo project from Daniel Amos keyboardist Rob Watson. Body and Soul released only one 7″ in 1983, and never did anything else. Side A featured “Something’s Going On Here,” which is a good song, but is more typical of 80s new wave/pop. It sounds like a track you’d hear in an 80s action comedy film, something akin to Adventures in Babysitting.… Continued →

August 10, 2022

Song of The Day: Whitecross - Enough is Enough

Today’s song of the day is going back, I mean WAY back into Christian rock past. I’ve always dug the band Whitecross. So much of their music was similar to what was coming out in the 80’s/90’s sound wise but they had their own spin and music chops to back it up. Rex Carroll was a force of nature and Scott’s raw vocal talents cut through the noise and all those sappy moments. They were true innovators in a scene run rampant with drugs, sex, and that whole vulgar image people ate up.… 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 30, 2022

Introducing: The Rocky Valentines (Ft. C. Martin of Starflyer 59)

I am going to take a moment and introduce you all to a brand new band featuring C. Martin who is the son of Jason Martin (and also a current member) of Starflyer 59. The new band is called “The Rocky Valentines”. The debut single “Off & On” will debut on August 19th via Velvet Blue Music with the full Self Titled EP out on September 2nd 2022. From the sounds of the preview video below, it is both classic and modern, alluring and full of melodies and sounds that his father I’m sure must be super proud of.… Continued →

July 1, 2022

Song of the Day: Deliverance - No Love

Metalheads are divided over whether the subgenre dubbed “speed metal” actually exists or not. Often confused with shred metal and/or Neo-classical (yes, those guys play fast, but that’s not the same thing), it’s almost synonymous with thrash except there are often clean vocals and/or slightly cleaner guitars. In the Christian scene, the most obvious examples are the seminal and fantastic Valor, Tourniquet’s early work (also adding a progressive element) and the mighty Deliverance. While Deliverance has flirted with a lot of different styles (speed/thrash, gothic metal, alternative metal, groove, etc.),… Continued →

June 10, 2022

Song of the Day: The Awakening - Don't Wait for Me

The Awakening was a progressive pop-rock/AOR band from Canada, active in the 1980s–not to be confused with the goth/industrial band from South Africa. This Awakening was poppy enough to be CCM-adjacent (in fact, this is probably the poppiest SOTD I’ve ever featured), but yet had a slight progressive/alternative edge that set them apart from other bands. The band released three albums, culminating in their excellent Into Thy Hands (Reunion Records, 1988). It featured 12 tracks of progressive pop goodness, not too dissimilar to 80s-era Yes. Lyrics were filled with encouraging but never preachy biblical references.… Continued →

May 28, 2022

Golf Slang - In Even Strokes (Luxury)

Golf Slang is a new side project of Jamey Bozeman of the band Luxury. Gold Slang takes on some of that 80’s new wave influence, incorporates modern sounds and conveniences and makes a song that just about anyone can appreciate. It’s really low key, chill, and something to knock off the shoes, kick back, and relax in a nice, oversized chair. If you like what you hear below, make sure to pre-order the new 5 song EP “How I Lost My Voice” right here via their label home – Velvet Blue Music, and on Cassette or CD.… Continued →

May 6, 2022

Song of the Day: The New Presidents - Arabian Nights

This obscure little band, while relatively unknown, has ties to some more connected acts. They only released one 4-song 12″ EP before breaking up and/or morphing into other acts. The most well-known member was Robert Vaughn, previously of RV and the Hubcaps, and who went on to play with Gloryhouse, Southside Blades of Eden (Broken Records), and most notably Robert Vaughn and the Shadows. RV and the Shadows was essentially the New Presidents line-up with a different name and slightly more mainstream style. Where The New Presidents dabbled in new wave and post-punk, The Shadows went full into power pop.… Continued →