Tag: Alternative Rock

September 16, 2022

Song of the Day: Honey - The Way You Move Me

I can only think of 1 or 2 songs where the structure of the song is built primarily around one chord. It’s a pretty risky thing to try. Luxury did it with “South” from their debut album. While there are probably others, the only other one I’m aware of is Honey’s “The Way You Move Me” from their sophomore album, Lost on You. A one-chord song seems like it would be incredibly boring, but with the various embellishments, runs that weave in and out, and ways they alter the chord (okay, technically it’s not only one chord–but it’s built around only one) keep things very interesting and almost psychedelic.… Continued →

June 11, 2022

REVIEW : Cicero - You Can't Outrun Your Mouth

Hailing from Portland, OR, Cicero began in the mid-00s and called it quits a few years later, only to reform last year. Greg Dimick (Crux, Empty Tomb, Govt Hate Mail) got me a copy of their new album so I could review it, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. You Can’t Outrun Your Mouth is being advertised as 90s emo, but in some ways that’s a disservice to the band. While there are certainly hints at Midwestern emo, particularly the more subdued Christie Front Drive-take on the genre (listen to “Monsters in Masks” and tell me you don’t hear it), YCOYM is more nuanced than that.… 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.… 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 10, 2022

Caedmon's Call Announce New Kickstarter Campaign

An alternative pop-rock band by the name of “Caedmon’s Call” that got their start in the 90’s has returned for this special kickstarter campaign to fund the re-recording of their “Self Titled” debut record, make a film about it, and play a special show in Nashville. There are several stretch goals that have already been met and the final one at $300k will be to add a 3rd show on the West Coast (2nd one will be in Texas).… 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.… 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 6, 2022

April 3, 2022

Caedmon's Call Re-emerge From The Shadows to Drop Hints

In what may seem like a surprising move, a band that got their start with their debut record in 1997 – “Caedmon’s Call“, who inspired many and wowed fans across the globe with their original blend of music and lyrics, are teasing something BIG. Click on their website here and sign up for the newsletter list. They are saying “something NEW (and old) is happening SOON” on their website. Any guesses? Maybe a re-release of their debut for its 25th anniversary?… Continued →

March 14, 2022

Names Without Numbers - You Do The Talking (Lyric Video)

Names Without Numbers return with their first NEW song of 2022. The song is titled “You Do The Talking” and it deals with issues of self doubt, social anxiety, and maintaining confidence while attempting to stay strong and dealing through the emotions. It’s a powerful track not just for subject matter but also because the music is some of the best out there. This is without a doubt one of the band’s strongest songs on record and one of my personal favorites.… Continued →

February 22, 2022

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 →

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 →

December 24, 2021

Song of the Day: Level Heads - Born in a Stable

This quirky alternative rock band released one independent EP and one full-length for Broken Records (also home to Undercover, The Holidays, Adam Again, etc.). While their normal material was interesting, to my ears the most compelling thing they recorded was a song for the Broken Christmas project, called “Born in a Stable.” While technically a Christmas song, it does a great job of pointing to Jesus’ purpose for coming to save us, by tracing the story of Jesus’ life and ministry all the way up to the empty tomb.… Continued →

November 26, 2021

Song of the Day: Enemy Ships - Rock American Style

Welcome to the best band you’ve never heard of. Enemy Ships (FKA The Emergency, not to be confused with The Emergency, AKA Ten-33) was a sort of supergroup with members from Christian alternative heavyweights like Jason Martin (Starflyer 59, Bon Voyage, Neon Horse, etc.), Dirk Lemmenes (Stavesacre, Focused), Ryan Denne (Stavesacre), Travis Zimmerman (Jupiter James), and Frank Lenz (Fold Zandura, Frank Lenz, etc). The band recorded an album for mainstream Atlantic Records entitled The Emergencyin 2007, but sadly it was never released.… 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 →

September 24, 2021

Song of the Day: The Lonely Now - Original Intentions

Wonderfully noisy, and delightfully obscure, The Lonely Now only released 3 full-length recordings in their short career: —Captive, 1986, Narrowpath Records (cassette only) —Original Intention, 1987, Narrowpath Records (cassette, LP) —Honest Tear, 1990, Narrowpath/Refuge (cassette only) While all of their releases are somewhat difficult to obtain, ironically their final album–the only one with national distribution through Refuge–is the most difficult. It was released through the same agreement as debuts by The Crucified, Breakfast with Amy, and The Swoon.… Continued →

September 11, 2021

Diving Deep into Shoegaze

So a new friend or acquaintance finds out you’re into music. The inevitable question follows: “what kind of music do you like?” How honest are you? Do you simply say, “I like a little bit of everything?” You know that’s not true. You can’t stand Matchbox 20. Do you try something a little more honest, but still generic, like, “mostly rock stuff.” No, that won’t work either–they might think you mean Lynyrd Skynyrd. Or are you blatantly honest with them, knowing they are unlikely to have a clue what you mean: “my favorite genre is probably shoegaze.”… Continued →

September 7, 2021

Jeff Elbel & Ping Announce a New Crowdfunded Album!

Jeff Elbel has been around the block a few times. Active in one form or another since the 1980s, first via Farewell to Juliet, then Sunny Day Roses, and then Ping. He’s played with members of mainstream new wave/prog band The Fixx and also new age instrumentalists Mannheim Steamroller. He’s even had songs featured on Dr Demento! His latest project The Threefinger Opera is almost at its goal of $5,000 and boasts a wide variety of packages from downloads to CDs, vinyl, and other merchandise!… Continued →

August 13, 2021

Song of the Day: Sally Grayson - Now

You might be familiar with Sally Grayson’s name due to her collaborations with The Blamed–lending her vocal cords on their cover of the scaterd-few classic “U” (for their Quarantine Days project), or for her contributions to “Away in a Manger” on 2020’s Christmas album. The scaterd-few cover is where I first became familiar with her work. Or you might recognize her from her Ted Talk on creativity (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia2ldxK2rF0), or as a member of post-punk outfit Black Swift.… Continued →

August 6, 2021

Song of the Day: L.S. Underground - The Fold

I first heard L.S.U. in about 1991. I had been a pretty staunch metalhead, but a few alternative rock bands were starting to open me up to new colors in my musical palette. While the experimental This is the Healing was the first album I heard from them, The Grape Prophet is a favorite of fans and critics alike. The album was one of the first and only concept albums, or “rock operas” as band leader Michael Knott liked to call them.… 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 →

July 2, 2021

Song of the Day: Starflyer 59 - Life in Bed

First things first: I must apologize for missing a couple of weeks on my Song of the Day features. We’ve been in the middle of an international move. Yes, after 13 years of life in the UK, my family and I have returned to the United States! And we’ve been living out of suitcases while we finalize our housing. So do please forgive me for missing a few posts. However, I hope a new song from Starflyer 59 this week can make up for it.… Continued →

May 21, 2021

Song of the Day: No Laughing Matter - Bad Blood

Arizona’s No Laughing Matter were kind of a ‘love ’em or hate ’em’ kind of game. Dark and broody, they didn’t fit in with most CCM at the time. Heck, even the alternative stuff wasn’t quite this dark, for the most part. Scott Roman’s dramatic wail was an acquired taste. The guitars alternated between goth-rock and the occasional nod to funk (see “Helltown”). Of particular interest were the deep bass grooves. They were one of Christian music’s very few, true “post-punk” bands in the proper sense of the term.… 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 10, 2021

Song of the Day: Breakfast With Amy-This Train

When I first heard this song, I was diving in the “alternative rock” scene & my musical overfilled mind was whirling from all this weird music that was not like the Petra’s or White Hearts I had grown up listening to. There were so many linked bands to this project such as Fluffy (check my review on Guitars Guns & Girls!) & Duraluxe which was formed with Hoi Polloi’s Troy Daughtery to name a couple. Check out the www.knottheads.com… 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 →

February 26, 2021

Song of the Day: The Walk - Vessels of Noble Worth

Welcome to what is probably the most underrated album in Christian alternative music history. The problem is largely that it just wasn’t heard by enough people. This Pennsylvania band comprised one third of the ‘holy trinity’ of Christian jangle pop, rounded out by Virginia’s The Throes and Minnesota’s The Swoon (coincidentally all band names beginning with the definite article). They released their one and only album, not counting their independent demo cassettes, through Talkingtown (also home of metal band Armageddon) and co-released through R.E.X.… Continued →

February 12, 2021

Song of the Day: Seventy Sevens - Don't This Way

I’m really hesitant to do this, but I’m gonna lay it on you. I’ve been a fan of music for well over 40 years. Narrowing down a favorite anything is really difficult. My list of favorite songs probably numbers near 1,000, and that’s just favorites, not all the songs I ‘just like.’ But, most days, if you ask me my favorite song of all time, it’s this one. The Seventy Sevens have had an extremely long career, with roots going as back as the late 70s/early 80s in a Sacramento church-based band called the Scratch Band.… Continued →

February 5, 2021

Song of the Day: Dig Hay Zoose - Struggle Fish

The funk-punk and funk-metal scene(s) rose quickly in the early 90s and then disappeared just as quickly. At one point, it was looking to be the next big thing, but as a genre it never dominated alternative rock as it once looked like it would. In fact, aside from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction, few in the general market ever made it big, even though bands like Fishbone and 24-7 Spyz were just as talented.… Continued →