Tag: 90’s

July 12, 2024

Song of the Day: Erase - Mental Overload

One of the few bands in the Christian scene that played in the groove metal style (that slightly slower, but just as intense cousin of thrash) was the Canadian band Erase. I remember when Mental Overload first came out and it made a huge impact on the then-stagnating Christian metal scene. The band’s popularity was, in part, owed to Jason Campbell, the ex-Mortification drummer, who was not pulling duties on vocals and guitar. Sadly, they only released one album (for David Villalpando, AKA Burrito’s Morphine Records label) before going their separate ways.… 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 →

June 14, 2024

Song of the Day: E.D.L. (Every Day Life) - Endurance

Every Day Life, commonly known as E.D.L., was an early innovator in the rap-core scene, fusing hip-hop and hardcore into something new, several years before it morphed into nu metal and became ubiquitous on rock radio. The band came from Southern California, and while musically innovative (our featured track also has a slight nod to industrial), they were also not afraid to touch controversial subjects in their lyrics, especially those related to racial relations in the United States, and other social topics and justice-related issues. Their debut album cover featured a scene from the L.A.… Continued →

June 7, 2024

Song of the Day: Johnny Q. Public - Body Be

Welcome to the 1990s, the decade of alternative rock, grunge, flannel, and a time when MTV still played music videos. While the Christian music scene had tons of alternative rock bands, few were as effective as Springfield, Missouri’s Johnny Q. Public. The band found the right combination of distortion, melody, noise, and big rock hooks (but not too big) to make a huge impact on the music scene. They released two albums, 1995’s Extra-Ordinary (for Gotee Records) and 2000’s Welcome to Earth, which was also on Gotee but licensed to the mainstream Roadrunner Records.… Continued →

May 17, 2024

Song of the Day: Lugnut - Q & A

Lugnut was a hardcore punk band from Northern Florida, only active for a few short years in the late 90s/early 00s. Their sound was somewhat melodic, but they were way too intense and too fast to be pop-punk. Some have called this sound skate punk or new school punk. They only released one full-length album entitled . . . Like the Dickens and a split release with fellow JCHC punk Officer Negative. Both releases were on Screaming Giant Records. In the band’s ashes, members went on to play in a number of other acts.… Continued →

May 10, 2024

May 3, 2024

Song of the Day: The Insyderz - Oh Lord, You're Beautiful

One of the “Big Three” in Christian ska, The Insyderz formed in Detroit, MI in 1995 out of their Salvation Army worship band. Like their counterparts in The O.C. Supertones and Five Iron Frenzy, the band featured a mix of third wave ska, punk rock tempos, and worshipful lyrics. Unlike their counterparts, The Insyderz were the first of the group to release an entire album dedicated to ska-core worship songs. For their second album, the aptly-titled Skalleluia!, the band assembled a setlist of mostly modern praise and worship songs and turned them into ska anthems.… 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 →

April 12, 2024

Song of the Day: Drottnar - Cul-De-Sac

Impossibly difficult to categorize into any nice, neat genre, Norway’s Drottnar originally formed as Vitality, in 1996. They began playing death metal, but changed names when their sound shifted towards black metal. The band’s sound continued to evolve more and more, incorporating progressive and technical elements into something more avant-garde over time, while still retaining elements of black metal, death metal, and other extreme sounds. It is this level of experimentation and excellence that both sets them apart from their peers musically, and simultaneously makes their music less accessible to the general populace of listeners–even amongst fans of heavy music.… Continued →

March 29, 2024

Song of the Day: Paradigm Shift - Grip

Paradigm Shift was an electronica duo based in the Dallas, TX metroplex. They released one full-length album (for N-Soul/Velocity) and a 4-song CD EP. Unfortunately, very little is known about the group despite lengthy web searches. And the common group name doesn’t help! The one and only full-length album was self-titled and featured some of the most creative electronica the Christian scene ever produced. In contrast to the over-saturated techno/rave scene as well as the popular praise-house genre (that often tended towards the generic), Paradigm Shift featured a creative take on house/breaks that featured both funky retro and forward-leaning/futuristic sounds.… 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 →

March 1, 2024

Song of the Day: Chryztyne - For You

While German metal band Chryztyne may have formed in 1990, their sound is pure 80s! Traditional heavy metal with touches of glam/melodic metal abound in their material. The band formed in Karlsruhe in SW Germany in 1990, and released a 5-song demo cassette in 1992. Shortly thereafter, they signed with Pila Music, one of the larger Christian music labels from their home country. Their one and only full-length Tales of Paradise released in 1993 on the label, and featured 11 tracks of pure 80s metal. This, of course, proves the rule that although heavy metal had gone by the wayside–in the wake of grunge and alternative rock–in the United States, it was alive and well in other parts of the world, particularly in Europe.… Continued →

February 23, 2024

Song of the Day: Caustic Eminence - Corporate Christianity

Caustic Eminence was a raw, fast, hardcore punk band from Marion, IN. The band formed when they met as students at Indiana Wesleyan University. They released 2 demo cassettes before issuing the fabulous Another Day, Another Dollar 7″ through Cling Recordings in 1996. Not much else is known about the band other than their recorded output. Their take on punk was fast and furious, raw and lo-fi, contrary to the gamut of pop-punk bands that were popular at the time, which were moving towards more sophisticated sounds and production techniques.… Continued →

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 24, 2024

Song of the Day: Hellfighter Worship vs Hillsong - Life of Fire vs From the Inside Out

So today is my birthday and I have been recollecting my life these past 46 years & how it relates to the music I have grown to enjoy. I originated from the quad cities in Illinois. I accepted Jesus into my heart at around 5 years old from a lady who ended up being a missionary to Europe. My earliest music memory was calling in for Farrell & Farrell’s People in a Box to be played on my birthday for a couple years on local CCM radio.… 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 →

January 5, 2024

Song of the Day: Rhythm Saints - L.A. Story (Hundred Thousand Lights)

While the alternative rock revolution was exploding all over the 90s, another musical genre was becoming ever more expansive in the same decade–electronica. Faith-based artists were pursuing new subgenres from house to techno/rave to EBM and lots of other styles. One pioneering artist in the house genre was Rhythm Saints, comprised of husband Stephen Nixon and wife Lee-Jane Nixon. Although Stephen was British born, the couple were based in Los Angeles, whence their inspiration for this track emerges. While most of the album channeled house and progressive house sounds, this track (incidentally the only one I could find from their debut via YouTube) dabbles pleasantly in ambient as well.… Continued →

December 29, 2023

Song of the Day: Unashamed - Never Ends

This band from Southern California was one of the first wave of bands who set the foundation for what was known as “Spirit-filled hardcore.” A wave which also included Focused, Strongarm, Six Feet Deep and a handful of others, many of which remained unsigned. The scene was characterized by ‘new school’ or ‘chugga chugga’ or metallic hardcore of the early to mid-90s, combined with lyrics that were bold and unapologetic about faith issues. The first time I heard Unashamed was actually a live show as they were the opening band at the first Tooth and Nail Weekend in 1994, a mini-fest at the Where-House in Bartlesville, OK featuring all Tooth and Nail bands (also on the bill were Focused, Chatterbox, Plankeye, Starflyer 59 and Wish for Eden who sadly had to cancel due to a broken down van).… Continued →

December 1, 2023

Song of the Day: Poor Old Lu - All Pretty for the TV

Poor Old Lu are/were one of the most celebrated alternative rock bands in the Christian scene. They hit at the height of the Christian indie scene in the 1990s, and formed a core unit of alternative rock bands that included The Prayer Chain, Plankeye, Starflyer 59 and a handful of others. Hailing from the Seattle area, the band also had close ties with others in the scene like Pedro the Lion, Damien Jurado, Blenderhead, and even Sunny Day Real Estate (vocalist Jeremy Enigk provided guest vocals on one POL track).… 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 →

November 10, 2023

Song of the Day: M.C.R.G. - The Lord's House

Early Christian rap is a thing of beauty. Similarly to mainstream rap, early examples–though they give insight to the development of the genre–often suffer from simplistic lyrics, weak production, and/or rapping styles that are now outdated and sound lazy by today’s standards. However, we must remember that the genre took decades to develop. In fact, the early 90s were a tough era for the style. It had started to become mainstream and risked disappearing into a subgenre of pop music until it was rescued by gangsta rap and alternative rap a few years later, pushing the genre to new styles and heights, though not without controversy.… Continued →

October 27, 2023

Song of the Day: Lugsole - Out of Place

Lugsole was a noisy indie rock band from Birmingham AL with hints of post-punk and emo in their sound. Despite a significant number of releases–both independent and label-issued–they remained a fairly obscure act, whose fans were either music critics or diehard independent music aficionados. Recorded output begins in 1995 and ends in 1998, and in those four short years, they managed to release three cassette demos (two EPs and one full-length), a split 7″ with Dear Ephesus, an EP on compact disc via Daddy-O Records (who also released the first Dear Ephesus recordings), and a 3-way split CD with mainstream acts The Paper Chase and E-Class.… 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 22, 2023

Song of the Day: Dance House Children - Once Upon Your Lips

Our feature today comes from two brothers who started making music in their teens, first as a new wave/post-punk band called Morella’s Forest (no, not that one), and then an immensely quirky synth-pop group called Dance House Children, before parting ways and forming two of the most legendary, creative, and prolific Chrindie groups ever–Joy Electric and Starflyer 59. Yes, we are talking about none other and Ronnie and Jason Martin. In the early 1990s an independent label emerged (technically started much earlier but with very limited distribution) called Blonde Vinyl.… 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 12, 2023

Wedding Party have reunited--new Album announced!

90s goth rock band Wedding Party have recently announced their re-formation. A new album is coming out this month! Pre-orders and digital downloads for the album, entitled “White Horse”, are available now. Fans can purchase at the band’s website here: https://weddingpartyofficial.com or through their official Bandcamp page here: https://weddingpartyofficial.bandcamp.com/album/white-horse Physical orders will start shipping out September 28th, 2023, limited to the USA only at this time.… Continued →

September 8, 2023

August 26, 2023

The Empty North release new single!

The Empty North is a new rock band that focuses on a sound straight out of the 1990s–grunge/alternative rock with an independent aesthetic. While the recording took place in Juneau AK, the band is comprised of members from Juneau, Portland OR, and Chicago IL. There are two tracks available for streaming now, and another will be available for streaming in a week or so. There are also split releases in the works with The Proper English, Australia-based NoiseArt Collective, and Robochill. For now, check out “Appendage Angles,” a song based on the personal testimony of founding member Justin William Price (The Proper English, ex-Cicero).… Continued →