Tag: SoCal

July 22, 2022

Song of the Day: Joy Electric - The Cobbler

I’ve been listening to Ronnie Martin’s music since the late 80s, when he and brother Jason (of Starflyer 59 and many others) were known as the duo Dance House Children. That group reveled in synth-pop, but with a super quirky edge. There was nothing in the Christian nor secular markets quite like it. After two underrated albums, the pair split. Jason started the legendary indie rock monster Starflyer 59, while Ronnie carried on with synthesizer-created music in the form of Joy Electric.… 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 →

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 3, 2022

Song of the Day: No Innocent Victim - Strength

Emerging from the original wave of Spirit Filled Hardcore (or SFHC) came southern California’s No Innocent Victim, AKA N.I.V. In contrast to their SFHC peers like Unashamed, Strongarm, and Overcome, who often integrated metallic influences that were becoming more popular in hardcore, NIV stuck to their old school roots with a “Loud Fast Rules” mentality. In fact, their old school approach to fast and heavy hardcore played a part in sparking a revival of the style, which eventually evolved into “tough guy hardcore,” essentially an update of that old school sound with added breakdowns and heaviness.… 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 →

August 20, 2021

Song of the Day: Nobody Special - Finger Pointer

I first heard Nobody Special in 1989. My local contemporary Christian music radio station (KOKF 91.1 FM out of Oklahoma City) played their new album in its entirety over the airwaves. You see, KOKF was not your average CCM station. Sure, they played some adult contemporary and “inspirational” stuff during the daytime, but as the late afternoon and evening hit, they would feature more contemporary styles including pop, rap, rock, etc. And then after 9:00, it was all heavy music–mostly metal, but with some punk and hardcore thrown in from time to time.… Continued →

March 5, 2021

Song of the Day: 4•4•1 - Show Me

4•4•1 burst onto the SoCal new wave scene in 1984, releasing their debut album on Royal Commandment Records (soon to be re-named Blue Collar Records). The band formed in 1983 in Los Angeles County, diligently rehearsing in the garage of bassist/keyboardist Glenn Holland’s parents. They recorded a 4-song demo and subsequently sent out copies to area youth pastors. The unconventional move proved successful as they caught the attention of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, a large church that hosted lots of concerts for Christian new wave and early alternative bands.… Continued →

October 16, 2020

Song of the Day: The Holidays - Sunshine

Power pop was (is?) a strange phenomenon. Despite the big hooks, melodic overtones and just enough of a punk edge to keep things interesting, it never really caught on in a huge way. Although it’s made inroads into new wave and, more recently, indie pop, the leaders of the subgenre still remain fairly underground, with a few notable exceptions (Cheap Trick and The Romantics are among the few artists with major radio hits). It should be no surprise then, that in Christian circles, artists in the style were even fewer.… Continued →

February 14, 2020

Song of the Day: Undercover - The Eyes of Love

I suppose that the first time you hear a band forever affects the way you think or feel about them. Although Undercover already had a long history behind them when I first heard them in 1990, I was completely unaware of it. I didn’t know the huge impact they’d made in the Christian alternative and punk scene in SoCal through Calvary Chapel, Ministry Resource Center, etc. through groundbreaking albums like God Rules and Branded. They had already morphed from a bubblegum-punk/new wave sound to darker, post-punk tones across the span of 4 albums.… Continued →

July 26, 2019

Song of the Day: Altar Boys - You Are Loved

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is one of the greatest songs our scene has ever produced! It gets straight to the heart of what it’s all about: “Hey I’m talkin’ to you/Yeah, I’m trying to get through/God cares about you more than think . . . You are loved! You are loved!” It was the first song I ever heard from the Altar Boys, in the late 80s. Ironically, it was on a metal compilation where I first heard them.… Continued →