Tag: Tooth and Nail

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 6, 2023

REVIEW : Teeth for Eyes - Teeth for Eyes EP

This punk rock supergroup features ex-members of Crux, Empty Tomb, Cicero, and Gov’t Hate Mail. So you can see why I was excited about hearing this disc. The EP contains 7 songs, clocks in around 17 minutes, and comes as a pro-CDr in a standard jewel case with a single panel insert with credits and no lyrics. Musically what we have here is no frills punk rock and roll. It’s not quite as spastic as Crux, and doesn’t have the hardcore/thrash leanings of Empty Tomb. When comparing to its members previous projects, it’s probably closest to Gov’t Hate Mail, but just slightly heavier than that project.… Continued →

September 8, 2023

May 12, 2023

Song of the Day: Twothirtyeight - Songs Will Write the Words

Early 2000s emo, you gotta love it! One of the best, and painfully one of the most obscure in the genre was twothirtyeight (or sometimes 238). The band hailed from Pensacola, FL in the state’s panhandle. Florida seemed to be a haven for emo and hardcore during that era, and many of those bands ended up on Birmingham, AL’s Takehold Records, and then eventually on Tooth & Nail when they bought Takehold’s roster and much of its back-catalogue. Twothirtyeight played a style of emo that minimized the hardcore influence and instead delved into a deeply emotional form of indie rock, like secular counterparts in Braid, Cursive, or Christie Front Drive.… Continued →

April 28, 2023

Song of the Day: Delta Haymax - Tidal Wave

Gosh, this song . . . this band . . . has a way of evoking memories of a certain period of my life. Lo-fi indie rock with only 2 members. One on guitar and vocals, and the other on drums. They released a very short–only 3 songs–but brilliant self-titled EP on Tooth & Nail in 1997. T&N had a fantastic run of EPs around that time (Pedro the Lion, Warlord, Inner Means, Training for Utopia, etc.) and this was certainly one of them. The songs were lo-fi, but not noisy.… Continued →

January 6, 2023

Song of the Day: Coolidge - Trapped

The best way I can describe Coolidge is as a sort of ‘prequel supergroup.’ All of the members are now well-known for their contributions to indie rock, though none of them were very well-known at the time, and Coolidge remains a fairly obscure blip on the map of alternative music. Formed in 1992, the band featured Damien Jurado on bass and vocals, David Bazan (Pedro the Lion, Headphones, Lo Tom) on drums, and Eben Haase (Blenderhead, Don’t Know) on guitar. They played an intense and unique form of emo-core that interweaved lo-fi indie rock into the mix.… Continued →

July 31, 2022

REVIEW : Ronnie Martin - From the Womb of the Morning, the Dew of Your Youth Will Be Yours

Most of you will know that Ronnie Martin has been making music since the late 80s (at least) with Morella’s Forest 1988, Dance House Children, and most famously Joy Electric, not to mention a host of side projects like Ronald of Orange, The Foxglove Hunt, The Brothers Martin, and so forth. While there’s a lot of history with Martin’s expertise in making quirky, electronic pop music, in a sense none of that matters. Not that the history isn’t respectable–but what we really want to know is, is this record going to be good?… Continued →

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. Picking up where Dance House Children left off, Joy Electric took the quirkiness to extreme new levels.… 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. Supertones just a few months before Five Iron Frenzy dropped Upbeats and Beatdowns.… 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 →

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. It seemed that they were channeling equally such disparate influences as Smashing Pumpkins, Catherine Wheel, R.E.M.,… Continued →

December 10, 2021

Song of the Day: Blindside - Nerve

I remember when I first heard this song. It was on the Tooth & Nail Songs from the Penalty Box compilation, amidst other songs ranging from pop-punk to hardcore and everything in-between. But Blindside was hard to peg. It was heavy and raw, and kind of hardcore, but not really. There was a mild rap influence in the delivery, but it wasn’t really rapcore either. Post-hardcore hadn’t really occurred to me as a category yet. The band put the song on their debut, self-titled, full-length album and a year later released a second–both albums on Tooth & Nail/Solid State.… 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 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 →

August 26, 2021

Starflyer 59 release new single "Sunrise"

Jason Martin is back at it, never ceasing to create and release new music. The new single is called “Sunrise” and is decidedly more upbeat than the recent “Life in Bed.” Perhaps the two work as companion pieces? The 80s post-punk and new wave influences are here again, but filtered through Jason’s shoegaze and indie rock background. Check out the song on your streaming platform of choice. Be sure to download and support the artist where possible. https://starflyer59.bandcamp.com/album/sunrise https://soundcloud.com/velvetblue/starflyer-59-sunrise https://open.spotify.com/track/4o5hLF6WnULrPXFCMzmLH5?si=5ee0b792c04143d1Continued →

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 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. The first thing I noticed from the track was the eerie new wave keyboard sounds and quasi-goth guitar leads.… Continued →

August 25, 2020

Disciple Drops New Track, "Darkness Dies"

Disciple will be releasing a deluxe edition of the album, “Love Letter Kill Shot” on September 18th, which will feature 3 new tracks, one of which you can check out now and pick up at your digital retailer of choice. “Darkness Dies” is a single that has a nice contrast between the laid back, melodic side of the band and their edgier, smack-you-in-the-face rock side. It’s a pretty great track that you can pick up HERE, where you can also pre-order the upcoming deluxe release.… Continued →

August 14, 2020

Song of the Day: Roadside Monument - On Molasses Lake

Emo seems to be a genre that people either love or hate. Heck, even most of the bands who played in the genre didn’t want to be associated with the name for one reason or another. While Roadside Monument toyed around with various genres like indie rock (Beside This Brief Hexagonal), math rock (I Am the Day of Current Taste), and fusions of the two (Eight Hours Away from Becoming a Man), they also stayed just close enough to the emo genre to never fully break free from the tag.… Continued →

May 15, 2020

Song of the Day: Starflyer 59 - This Recliner

After releasing last year’s opus Young in My Head, Starflyer 59 are already back. The veteran indie rock band have just released a new single, “This Recliner” and boy oh boy is it good! Fueled by inspiration from the best of his 80s new wave AND shoegaze influences (The Church, Psychedelic Furs, Jesus and Mary Chain, et. al.), the man truly knows how to write a pop song. Sometimes I think his skill lies in brevity. Rather than dragging stuff out, founder Jason Martin always leaves you wanting just a little bit more.… Continued →

January 31, 2020

Song of the Day: The Blamed - 1200 Stares

By the time Give us Barrabbas came out (the band’s 7th album), The Blamed had already gone through at least 4 different genres: punk rock, crossover thrash, hardcore punk, and punk metal. Now they were dabbling in experimental post-hardcore, which, for my money was their most successful rendering of noise to date. “1200 Stares” starts off with a punishing, repetitive riff, and then we welcome some gang shouts: “We won’t stop what we start!” There’s an urgency in the cry that beseeches one to pay attention.… Continued →

November 21, 2019

October 24, 2019

Slick Shoes Re-Signs With Tooth & Nail, Albums Announced, New Song Tomorrow

Slick Shoes and Tooth & Nail have announced the re-signing of the band with the label. Along with the signing, it has been announced that a live album called “Broadcasting Live” will be dropping on November 22nd (preorder yours here) as well as a completely new album coming our way in 2020. A new live track will be released at some point tomorrow, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that as well. Who’s ready for some new Slick Shoes???… Continued →

October 8, 2019

July 18, 2019

July 5, 2019

Song of the Day: Sal Paradise - Travels

Who remembers Sal Paradise? Obscure 90s indie rock band from Sydney, Australia (formerly known as The Crux–unrelated to the punk band). Those who do remember them are probably most familiar with their one and only album on Tooth and Nail Records, entitled “Further.” However, they had also released a few independent releases in their native country. This song, “Travels” made it to a Velvet Blue Music compilation in the form of an acoustic version. The electric version was darker, but just as moody. It was originally released on the Scatter release pictured here, but has popped in various other releases, including “For You and Before You” still available from the Velvet Blue Music shop here: https://velvetbluemusic.com/shop/sal-paradise-for-you-and-before-you/Continued →

June 14, 2019

Song of the Day: Plankeye - Open House

  Amazingly, this song is now 23 years old, and I still feel the same way about it as I did back then.  It’s a fantastic song, and one of the highlights of the Christian alternative rock scene!  Plankeye’s first album (“Spill”) was raw and unrefined, showing hints of Orange County punk.  While their second album “The Spark” had that same raw energy, the songwriting and musical chops had improved, along with just the right amount of production–not too raw, not too slick.  “Open House” is the standout track and has a great message of God’s love and grace even in times of difficulty. … Continued →

December 15, 2018