No Lost Cause with a simple yet profound message delivered in punk rock fashion. In our culture it’s difficult to stop moving. Say no to invitations, push the to-do list aside and just slowing down the pace goes against our grain. It’s these toned down times, though when God can get his message through to us. It’s amazing how he can speak volumes to us in one unhurried day while we can run for a month straight trying to accomplish his will and feel empty and out of touch in the process. How many things do we spend time on that are irrelevant to his plan for us? Rushing through life, we don’t realize the activities that rob us of our joy, peace and from living God’s perfect will. Maybe we need to take more time to slow it down a bit.
What is your go to place when you want to stop and unwind? Is it a place in your home, a bench by the lake, on the beach or a crowded city street where you sit still while everyone else around you keeps on going? Sometimes just sitting still without thinking at all is therapeutic. Other times reading through a book of the Bible all in one sitting listening for God’s voice is revolutionary. When our physical bodies slow down they might enjoy a nap, a relaxing bath or a spa treatment. All of us, soul, body and mind need these slowed down times to refresh, nourish, reboot, retune our minds to God’s purposes and allow these weary bodies to rest. Maybe we need to put these times of refreshing on the calendar along with everything else.
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Punk music had it’s roots in garage bands of the 60’s and old school, African-American blues. Some of the bands that kicked off the musical sound are The Animals, The Buckinghams, The Kinks, MC5, The Seeds, The Standells and The Yardbirds. I’ve always loved the punk genre. It is born out of that sense of rebellion which, if channeled in the right direction, can be a good thing. I may even be attracted to breaking with the status quo at times. Much of the punk I found was released quite some time ago. I wanted some fresh punk albums, so I searched for albums released in the last few years.
The use of Scottish Highland bagpipes has led to the band’s classification as a Celtic Punk Band. There street punk roots still shine through in this album with great songs that work together to make a mostly energetic album of songs with a contrast in pace to keep you engaged. Punk can get repetitious without some creativity but Odd Boat is interesting throughout. This album has power and drive maintaining street punk roots but with a Celtic flair.
These two bands have released a split EP entitled “In Stereo” featuring six songs of high energy, positive punk rock. This is the kind of punk that will have you pumped up about about being a rebel for God. Crank it up and bop your head throughout the whole thing. It’s a requirement.
The release in 2017 of this live album recorded July 24/25th 2015 at the Observatory in Santa Ana. They also released “Life in General 2.0”. The band started out in the 90’s. Their music is rooted in skate punk, pop punk leanings. The band has quite a collection of discography. Their early music had ties to Christian music but like many bands, they distanced themselves from it. It seems that these days many bands just want to make music without all the labels. Mike Herrera also seems to have changed his mind on matters of faith over the years. Again we are all on a life journey. Sometimes life colors the views we have had in the past for better or worse. This live release is well worth listening to, especially if you’ve been a fan. Michael Weaver of Jesus Freak Hideout had this to say about “Life in General 2.0”, “As a long-time fan, though, celebrating 20 years of Life in General with this re-recording has been fun. Something tells me that I’ll be rocking this record for another 20 years to come.” I haven’t been following them too closely, just here and there but I agree the album is a keeper.
The album Science Fiction released in 2017 is a supposed swan song for the band. I have always been attracted to their music as a searching for the answers to life mentality that Jesse Lacey’s lyrics embody. The thoughts and feelings of Jesse Lacey are all grown up in this album but still searching for answers and wrestling with faith. If you’re looking for a Christian album, this isn’t the one. It peeks inside the heart of a soul searching for rest, looking back, gazing ahead and asking the hard questions about life and eternity. How many people are out there who have heard the truth of the Bible but it hasn’t taken root? The thorns of this life have choked it out.
I like to get a feel for the struggles of faith from those that are still on the journey for truth. Their fans identify with this probably because they are searching for meaning in life too. Jesse has had his problems as Rolling Stone reported allegations of sexual misconduct that he was accused of as women came forward. He admitted and apologized for these. On the album there are a few instances of using God’s name to damn, you know what I’m saying. These are hard to hear but the lyrics are a true look into the soul of someone that has biblical concepts embedded but has not yet come to rest on them. In Pitchfork’s review of the album, Ian Cohen hits the nail on the head, “The real punchline, though, is the chorus: “I’ve got a positive message, sometimes I can’t get it out.” Sure, if we could all constantly radiate love for everyone and shrug off our demons, maybe Brand New wouldn’t need to exist. But Lacey was built to fight through all this to the bitter end.” I am praying that Jesse and the band members fight through it all and rest on Jesus, if they haven’t already and become brand new.
A reunion story with the band, who broke up back in 2005 not long after they released, Phantoms, which gained a bit of a cult following after they broke up. The band reunited in 2015. Having toured with bands like Anberlin and Seether i, they have a pop, punk, alternative sound akin to bands like Jimmy Eat World and Anberlin. This reunion album “Colliding By Design” is outstanding. It really mimic’s Anberlin’s sound.