Tag: 90’s

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 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.… Continued →

July 8, 2022

Song of the Day: Jyradelix - Out for Love

For a brief moment in the early 1990s, it looked like electronica (or techno, or rave as it was being called at the time) was going to take over popular music. It had a huge following in Christian alternative music for a good two years. Although the synthesizer-driven genre had little to do with the guitar-dominated alt-rock, grunge, and hardcore punk of the era, what it did have in common with those genres was simply being an oddball style of music with which to glorify God.… 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 →

May 27, 2022

Song of the Day: Sincerely Paul - Nineteen Years

One of my all-time favorite record labels of the indie Christian scene was Blonde Vinyl. Run by Michael Knott (LSU/Lifesavers, and about a dozen others), it was one of the first truly indie, truly alternative record labels focusing on Christian artists. Knott never got rich off of the sales. (A few years later, Brandon Ebel would show us how to make a Christian indie label financially profitable.) Furthermore, not all of the releases on Blonde Vinyl were even that great–I won’t name any names–but all of them were charming in some way.… Continued →

May 13, 2022

Song of the Day: The O.C. Supertones - Adonai

No, The Supertones weren’t the first Christian ska band. The Israelites’ first album pre-dated them by a year. But in the UK, Rev Counta and the Speedoze* (another incarnation of Ishmael United) had released a full-length as early as 1980! And perhaps some Jamaican bands that didn’t fit into the CCM/CBA mold had been active earlier than that, it’s hard to say. However, the Supertones were the first Christian ska band to release an album on a nationally-distributed label, releasing The Adventures of the O.C.Continued →

April 22, 2022

Song of the Day: Sixpence None the Richer - Love, Salvation, the Fear of Death

I first heard Sixpence None the Richer while listening to a cassette demo in the Christian bookstore in 1993. They had me from the opening acoustic guitar riffs on “Field of Flowers,” the opening track from The Fatherless and the Widow. That album was fantastic, but even so, it was only a foretaste of what was to come. While the band are largely known for their romantic pop radio hit, “Kiss Me,” from their self-titled third album, many fans and critics alike are drawn to their sophomore album, This Beautiful Mess.… Continued →

April 15, 2022

Song of the Day: MxPx - Want Ad

Y’all better to get ready to put your boxing gloves on. You ready for this? Pokinatcha is the best MxPx (Magnified Plaid) album. Why? It was melodic, but still very much punk–bordering even on old school hardcore at times. It’s by far their most unique record, before they settled into the more polished pop-punk sound that everyone remembers. To be clear, I have no problem with the direction they later took (except for maybe moving further away from Christian spirituality and theology as the years went by, but that’s another post altogether).… Continued →

April 1, 2022

Song of the Day: The Israelites - Israelite Train

The 1990s saw a huge revival of ska music–that funky fusion of reggae and punk, or so it seemed at the time. The real history of ska was much deeper than that. Unbeknownst to the general populace, ska actually pre-dates reggae, going back to at least the 1960s. It fused traditional calypso beats with horns and sounds gleaned from New Orleans jazz. Reggae emerged in the 70s, as tempos slowed down and the overall feel became more relaxed.… Continued →

March 11, 2022

Subsist announce vinyl pressing of The Rhythm Method

Legendary, underground, Midwest technical hardcore/metalcore band Subsist announce a vinyl pressing of their acclaimed (and originally self-released on CD only) album The Rhythm Method. The Midwest band released 2 CDs in the late 90s/early 00s before calling it quits. Those in the know have always been aware of their greatness, despite their underground status. This first-ever vinyl pressing is a co-release through Steadfast Records and Dropping Bombs. See the Big Cartel link below for ordering info.… Continued →

Song of the Day: Eden Burning - My Senses Fly

The 90s comprised an amazing decade for alternative Christian music. We had metal, punk rock, emo, industrial, and out of left field we also had an amazing run of alternative-tinged folk rock. I was primarily a metalhead/hard alternative guy when I got hit by this amazing run of folk acts like Lost Dogs, Nicolas Giaconia, Acoustic Shack, and the UK’s own Eden Burning. While Eden Burning had been going in their native England for several years prior, their first US release was Vinegar and Brown Paper, for Storyville Records, a folk imprint of R.E.X.… Continued →

March 4, 2022

Song of the Day: Brainwash Projects - Want for Nada

If anyone asked me to name my favorite Christian hip-hop project of all time, it is without a doubt Brainwash Projects, and their sole album The Rise and Fall of . . . . Perhaps the album title was a hint at how long the project would last, and we all just missed it at the time. Rise and Fall had everything: lyrical witticisms, dope beats, funky rhymes, and humor by the bucketloads. While the whole album is worth listening to straight through without skipping any tracks, one of the strongest singles is “Want for Nada,” a testimony to God’s faithfulness.… Continued →

February 25, 2022

Song of the Day: Painted Orange - You Walked

Synth-pop is sort of the illegitimate child of alternative rock and disco. Although it’s not obvious, its roots like in experimental forms of music like krautrock and post-punk. As new wave splintered further and further away from punk, and added more and more synthesizers, synth-pop was being birthed. In the mainstream, acts as diverse as Kraftwerk, New Order, and Pet Shop Boys were solidifying the sound. I loved 90s synth-pop, or simply “techno” as we called it then.… Continued →

February 11, 2022

Song of the Day: Driver Eight - Cheers

This band was the epitome of one of those all-too-common scenarios in 90s Christian music: the frustratingly great one-album wonder. Driver Eight released Watermelon via Tooth and Nail Records in 1996, to high acclaim from fans and critics alike, and then disappeared into the . . . well, that’s just it–we don’t know what happened! The album featured a highly-effective mix of alternative rock styles including Britpop (even though the band was American), quasi-shoegaze, and jangle pop.… Continued →

January 7, 2022

Song of the Day: LN - Better to Be Cool

If you’ve followed my writings for any amount of time, it’s not hard to discern my love for all things shoegaze, dream pop and the like. One of the best in the game was the mysterious LN. I was never quite sure if it was a band, or a solo project masquerading as a band. Sure, it was fairly well known that Gary Murray (who later recorded as Gary Murray and LN, and then just as Gary Murray) was the principal of the band, but not as clear who else was involved or at what level.… Continued →

December 31, 2021

Song of the Day: Mike Stand - Footsteps of Love

I don’t know why it took me so long, but recently a very simple thought has helped me out immensely in my spirituality and my walk with Christ. It’s simply this: choose love. That’s it. When I am tempted to sin, choose love instead. When I want to be selfish, choose love. When I want to do something that would only please or elevate myself and not others, choose love. Mike Stand was singing about it decades ago.… Continued →

November 19, 2021

Song of the Day: The November Commandment - High

It’s time for some industrial! But not the guitar-heavy metallic brand. The November Commandment (or often Nov*Com) were doing EBM/electro before it was trendy–or even before it was called that. Hailing from Sweden, the band emerged with an independent cassette in 1988 called Complete Structure. The tape featured a minimalist sound driven by synthesizers, not too unlike Coil and some of Wire’s more experimental material. They released another cassette in 1991, this time a 5-song EP.… Continued →

November 16, 2021

Spoken in Tongues Release "Ghosts" Ep

A really great newer indie rock band by the name of Spoken in Tongues have just dropped their brand new Covers ep titled “Ghosts” through bandcamp/digital networks. You can download the EP right here at Bandcamp. Spoken in Tongues are an impressive indie band rooted in everything from 80’s new wave, and 90’s underground indie music with post hardcore tendencies. It’s a diverse set of sounds and if you know the players on this release, you’ll understand instantly just why it is that they stand apart from the rest.… Continued →

October 29, 2021

Song of the Day: Mr. Bishop's Fist - Confuted System

The one, the only, the legendary hardcore band from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mr. Bishop’s Fist only released one 3-song demo, and had 2 compilation appearances, before they broke up and moved to the Pacific Northwest. So why include the band here when they made such a small impact? Well, despite their limited output, the band actually had an incredible impact. First, because the songs were so good, so brutal, so raw and real, fans and collectors to this day still talk about the band.… Continued →

October 18, 2021

Lost In Ohio Launch Kickstarter for Morella's Forest Debut Album "Super Deluxe" on Vinyl

I completely forgot to post about this for about a week and I do apologize. Vinyl boutique label, Lost in Ohio, have taken it upon themselves to re-release some awesome classic Christian alternative albums on Vinyl, some for the very first time. They just launched a kickstarter to fund their latest creation, Morella’s Forest “Super Deluxe” which was the official Tooth & Nail label debut released back in 1995. Check out the kickstarter right here and make sure to visit the record label website here for more great music including a rerelease of Sixpence None the Richer “This Beautiful Mess” on Vinyl.… Continued →

October 15, 2021

Song of the Day: Slick Shoes - Last

Among the plethora of pop-punk bands in the Christian scene, Slick Shoes were one of the best, probably top 5 out of hundreds. Formed in 1994 in Southern California (like most Christian pop-punk bands), they released their debut EP for Tooth & Nail in 1997, then proceeded to release 6 full-lengths, a split with mainstream band Autopilot Off (FKA Cooter) and a live album. The band won a lot of points with me by taking their name from one of my favorite movies of all time, The Goonies.… Continued →

October 1, 2021

Song of the Day: Havalina Rail Co. - I Change My Clothes

Havalina Rail Co. was a delightfully quirky, eccentric, genre-fusing and genre-bending experimental band from California. Across their 10-year career (give or take), the band dabbled in folk, ska, jazz, ragtime, blues, Americana, surf, and multiple internationally-themed genres. No two albums in their canon treads the same ground, and yet each successive opus is clearly recognizable as Havalina. The band stopped recording as HRC somewhere in the early 00s, but members have turned up elsewhere. Most notably are Matt Wignall who is a renowned photographer and is perhaps now best known as the producer for several Cold War Kids albums.… Continued →

September 3, 2021

Song of the Day: Iona - Bi-Se I Mo Shuil

Contemporary Celtic band Iona have been making music since their eponymous debut released in 1990. Fusing traditional Celtic folk instruments (flutes, whistles, bodhran drums, etc.) with jazz and progressive elements caused them to stand out from their other contemporary Celtic peers. Albums from the band commonly featured worshipful tunes (“Treasure” for instance, from their third album Beyond These Shores or “Revelation” from the second one, Book of Kells), traditional Scots-Irish tunes, as well as lengthy instrumental songs, or instrumental sections within songs.… Continued →

July 30, 2021

Song of the Day: Velour 100 - Toledo

I’m a sucker for all things shoegaze, including music that often falls under the wider umbrella of dream pop, madchester/baggy, indie pop and some forms of Britpop and space rock. While shoegaze had a limited representation amongst Christian artists, there were a few who really excelled in the genre. Ypsilanti, Michigan’s Velour 100 was one such artist. Led by Trey Many (who had honed his skills in the mainstream His Name is Alive and Liquorice; also a member of indie rock supergroup Lo-Tom), and rounded out by vocalist Amon Krist (daughter of renowned folk artist Jan Krist) on the debut, the band employed a trio of lead vocalists for their more accessible and also edgier sophomore effort Of Color Bright.… Continued →

July 16, 2021

Song of the Day: The Choir - Gripped

One of the longest-running indie/alternative bands in the Christian scene, The Choir emerged in the 1980s initially as Youth Choir, shortening the name after the release of one album and one EP. The band formed in 1983 and were instrumental in the early 80s Calvary Chapel scene in Southern California, that also included stalwarts like Undercover, Altar Boys, and 4-4-1. Where some of their counterparts flirted with punk and harder alternative sounds, The Choir’s sound rarely ‘rocked’ so much as it created atmospheres and layers that have never been easily pigeonholed into any particular scene or sound and yet have toyed with dream pop, indie pop, and at times even shoegaze.… Continued →

May 15, 2021

Salt Creek Signs With Tooth & Nail Records

A rising indie band from Nebraska called Salt Creek, made a lot of waves and significant buzz on the underground scene for a number of years and they just earned their spot among a lot of great bands on legendary Seattle based label – Tooth & Nail Records. The label just released the band’s label debut EP titled “Our Own World”, through all digital networks and streaming sites. Give it a listen and comment with your thoughts.… Continued →

May 7, 2021

Song of the Day: Veil of Ashes - Without Eyes

Veil of Ashes was a college rock band from Oakland, California, who debuted with the critically-acclaimed album Pain on Graceland Records (an imprint of Frontline) in 1989. While they had started out as a post-punk outfit with goth leanings, most of that influence had faded by the time their debut hit. A second album The Young and the Reckless: The Regression of Veil of Ashes was released on Blonde Vinyl in 1992, but it was actually a retrospective release of earlier demos.… Continued →

March 3, 2021

Song of the Day: Value Pac - Big Dream

Today’s Song of the Day post (by me, Brandon) is none other than Value Pac, a short lived and mostly “90’s” exclusive, pop-punk act. The band got their humble beginnings in 1995 here in Orange County, CA. I first heard of the band with a demo tape under their original name, One by One at a show I went to in Tustin, CA. circa 1995. The band played raw (sometimes rough) pop-punk that would please punk purists and pop fans at heart.… Continued →

January 2, 2021

Song of the Day: B.U.C.K. - Next

Starting this new year off right with some fun ska music from B.U.C.K. (building Up Christ’s Kingdom) aka Buck Enterprises. This Detroit, MI six piece band released a few albums before disbanding. I remember writing a college paper on ska & B.U.C.K would be classified as 3rd wave ska. Their 1998 self-titled release featured more horns than the second & featured a cartoon character which appeared to be skanking in a raincoat while holding up a checkered black & white ball which are the normal colors for ska music.… Continued →