RATING: (6 out of 10) RELEASE DATE: December 5th, 2011 LABEL: Unsigned REVIEWED ON: November 27th, 2011 REVIEWED BY: Sara NapierREVIEW
If you're like me, you probably find yourself talking about Christian music a lot. Be it something that’s getting loads of radio plays, a new band that everyone’s talking about, or the clever song a friend wrote that very day, it’s a topic that never escapes me. We know the Creator of the universe, so it’s no surprise that Christian music should be considered original, creative and unique.
Something I find kind of alarming, though, is how Christian music is boxed in differently from “secular music." In the secular music scene, all genres and topics are acknowledged as living works of art. Yet in Christian music, I feel like certain freedoms are sometimes considered taboo, as though there are some topics that the masses just don’t want to hear their favorite Christian artist singing about. That’s a little troublesome to me because (inadvertently, I’m sure) it cancreate the illusion that Christians don’t deal with all aspects of life, too.
This may bewhy I find The Thomas Confession to beso refreshing. Based out of Fresno, CA, The Thomas Confession is a name the world should probably get used to hearing. This is a band of young men that are dedicatedto their music and obviously very hard-working. Their sound is skillful and their lyrics are well-thought out so I was impressednot only by their sound but their message. While their music could easily be compared to secular genres and could even sound kind of depressing, their goal is to draw light out of darkness and to inspire hope in our Creator. Their approach is honest and free of any gimmicks.
Having formed in 2008, it was a surprise for the unsigned band when their first single, “Children With No Past,” stayed at number 1 on the charts on Indie-Music.com and went on to befeatured on Mike Camio’s Indie’s Top 10 for the Month of February in 2009. They ended up winning battle of the bands at Sacramento State University that year and have since gone on to play several venues including Joshua Fest. This album, Convolutions, has been highly anticipated throughout 2011.
The album begins with the lively “Love Like Fire." While this song sets the tone for the album, it keeps the listener wondering what comes next. The way the keyboard blends with the drums creates a beautiful sound that’s kind of danceable, which makes me think it would be a lot of fun to hear during a live performance.
Jumping right into the second track, “Put Your Mind To It” brings out the musical talents of the band. A real stand-out track of the album, its message is one of perseverance and a call to action. With intricate musical compositions from every member (and avery skillfulguitar solo), I was surprised to find that it was actually the unique vocals that kept this song stuck in my head.
With two untitled instrumentals breaking up the tracks, it gives the listener a chance to feel more engaged in the tracks to come. At times vocalist Mike Borisovkind of channels a young Davey Havok(AFI) in his vocal styles, especially on the track “When Everyone’s Dancing." The sound is really refreshing, and while it may not strike everyone the same way at first, by the end of the album this is a band one is happy exists.
Possibly my favorite track of the album is “My Perfect World." A very somber song with melodic moments and poetic lyrics, it feels like something Solomon would have written to describe what he went through in Ecclesiastes.
“Still Standing Alone” brings a strong close to this album. With some pretty controversial lyrics like “finding the truth was supposedto set you free// Finding the Love they said was everything// But somewhere along the way, you found that it’s not what it seems," I feel this track could be taken the wrong way. I appreciate that the lyrics go somewhere that many others wouldn’t.
Songs like the closer of the album just reenforce the mentality behind the name of the band. When asked about their name, I was told that it is a reference to Thomas, the apostle of Christ.
They said that “People most commonly think of him as ‘Doubting Thomas.’ We see it a little differently. We noticed that this story was one of a complete turnaround, a new beginning and a second chance. He may have started as 'Doubting Thomas,' but he ended up with one of the most prolific and bold confessions of Jesus. Our name reflects our belief that all of us have this opportunity for something better, something bigger, and a shot at another chance.” And for me, knowing that makes their lyrics hit home a little deeply.
The band is still new, but they have already established a very polished sound. I found it surprising that they were not already signed to a label when I heard them, but I don’t doubt that one may befast approaching. Make sure to check out Convolutions when it releases on December 5th.
Posted on: November 27th, 2011 PST By: Sara Napier