Tag: California

February 16, 2024

Song of the Day: Rev. James Cleveland - Lord Help Me to Hold Out

I had fully intended to cover something punk today, when I began listening to some old traditional Gospel for a project at work (I’m an associate pastor at a diverse, inner-city church). I was reminded of a Gospel song I first heard in the early 1990s when I was a member of a Gospel choir at my college. Yes, little ol’ white boy me, metalhead/punk rocker. In fact at one point in time I had a 4-inch mohawk while I was in this Gospel choir, but I digress.… Continued →

February 5, 2024

Song of the Day: HandsXFeet vs Man Ov God - Judas' Suicide Note vs Church in the Dark

There is really such a thing as a heavy trap subgenre. Artists which have elements include Autumnboy, Man Ov God aka Brook from Impending Doom, Bella Futuro (members of MewithoutYou & The Operation) and Arizona artist HandsXFeet. Check out these thought provoking lyrics from HandsXFeet. Oh my God What have I done what have I done Oh my God I killed Your son, killed Your son The devil he entered my body All of that money it got me Our time spent it meant nothing An army of demons surround me I betrayed who set me free It should be me up on that tree Weight’s too much, fall to my knees Kiss of death was on my breath Take it back, I don’t want it All this blood money is haunted I just let the devil taunt me Shut your ears to sins confessed Broke that bread, passed that cup Flesh torn apart, You gave that up No salvation, out of luck Innocence now laid to rest [MAN OV GOD:] Lost, can’t believe I forgot Lost, can’t believe I forgot All alone in my sin Betrayed the Son of Man Guillotine, that’s the plan Hanging from a tree Flesh, the heart of man Save me from my grave My soul is strong, but my flesh is weak    … Continued →

February 3, 2024

January 24, 2024

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 11, 2024

Exciting new Punk compilation benefits a Food Pantry

The folks at Thumper Punk Records have released a new compilation featuring a staggering 21 tracks! The comp’s contributions range from unsigned/unheard of bands to the mighty prolific, and include multiple subgenres from folk-punk to pop-punk to hardcore and even black metal. Best of all, all proceeds go towards the Valley Churches Together Food Pantry project based in Santa Cruz, California! Download and support the project here: https://thumperpunkrecords.bandcamp.com/album/valley-churches-united-food-pantry-benefit-compilationContinued →

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 20, 2023

Song of the Day: Prone - King of Hypocrites

California’s nu metal band Prone released one 2006 EP. They also have a girl drummer which is different. Check em out & good luck with finding the full EP as I have tried to track it down for years. Also, here is a great site that I use & this link has a bunch of verses that deal with hypocrisy. My fave verse on the subject is 1 Peter 2:16. https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-hypocrisy/ Continued →

December 16, 2023

December 2, 2023

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 →

October 20, 2023

Song of the Day: L.A. Symphony - Next

One of the larger, more legendary cyphers in Christian hip-hop, L.A. Symphony came to us from where else but Los Angeles. They emerged in the late 90s with a few 12″ singles and a full-length album on member Flynn Adam Atkins’ own independent label Eartube Empire, via which Flynn had also released a full-length solo album earlier. The group’s breakthrough came in the form of 2003’s The End is Now for Gotee Records. I had the privilege of booking/hosting the group for a youth event in Atlanta in the mid-2000s.… 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 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 27, 2023

Minor Rockstar release new digital EP through Thumper Punk Records

California band Minor Rockstar just released a five song Wasted EP today through Thumper Punk Records. The band feature a style of rock-n-roll that blends 90s alternative with a touch of punk rock. Their debut single “Wasted” can be streamed at: https://youtu.be/IToO7F8X5gk The full release can also be streamed or downloaded via the Thumper Punk bandcamp page: https://thumperpunkrecords.bandcamp.com/album/wastedContinued →

June 3, 2023

May 24, 2023

May 15, 2023

May 8, 2023

Song of the Day: (Un)Worthy - Heavy Worship

This metal band has a no holds barred evangelism message & do not waver the Christian label. This tune is like a lyrical theme song to every Christian band’s message. Check out these lyrics & the reason behind the song. What better place than here What better time than now Every tongue will confess And every knee shall Bow We preach a message of love They shake their fists in the air Our light shines in the darkness It’s no wonder they’re scared I can hear them curse His name I feel spit hit my face Religion shoved down their throats They never experienced grace This crowd is our congregation And this stage is our pulpit Others think this is noise We’re praising God with heavy worship Other Christians can’t seem to get it They’ve shut themselves off from the truth They won’t reach out to the least of these But this is what I was called to do Let them feel Your love See Your face Hear Your Word Know Your name 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 →

April 14, 2023

Song of the Day: Tunnel Rats - Trz

The most legendary holy hip-hop cipher of them all? Perhaps. Tunnel Rats’ debut Experience (1996) was truly mind-blowing. It’s one of those rare albums where the line between art and artist was completely blurred, if it even existed in the first place. The lyrics (as well as the passion behind them) reflected absolute love of hip-hop music and culture, and absolute love of God and his Gospel. Very few artists, very few albums or artistic endeavors reach that climax of full integration where neither the message nor the artistic medium was compromised in any way whatsoever.… Continued →

April 8, 2023

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 →

April 6, 2023

April 4, 2023

March 27, 2023

March 18, 2023

Song of the Day: Pete Stewart - Spinning

Pete has been in the CCM music industry for years. Most know him from grunge band Grammatrain whose Lonely House LP is one of my fave. He also sang for The Accident Experiment which was a side project of Payable on Death’s Marcos when he temporarily left the band. Pete also worked with Mike Tait’s solo work. This SOTD comes from Pete’s first solo album which garnered several CCM radio airplay. He also served as the engineer/mixer for Mackelmore’s The Heist LP which had the annoying Thrift Store rap song.… Continued →