Angel-Thieves 
Artist: Fade 
Label: North and South Records (independent) 
Time: 10 tracks/53:10 

This is one of the best independent CDs ever recorded. The super sonics of a big major label release (bass beyond belief), vocals the very definition of sleepy passion and echoing emotion, spellbinding guitars darting to and fro, humming keyboard swells that evoke cavernous feelings, songs for afternoon naps or late night life ponderings...there are more subtle little sounds and textures woven into the songs than most bands imagine using for half a dozen albums. The only possible flaw is the drum machines (they didn't have a drummer at studio time, but do now). But even those are handled extremely well--about as organic, varied, and inobtrusive as programmed percussion can be. This music is beautiful.  

Although the band members are believers, Fade is a real rock-n-roll band; you won't hear of them in "Christian" music circles if they have anything to say about it. Unfortunately, there's no lyric sheet, but the musings found here are nicely deep and poetic, trust me. 

Another description of the album, hesitantly made, is of a perfect melding of recent Radiohead with meditative U2 (if ever the need arose, this singer would be Bono's replacement). Some would even say this is better. Such a comparison can be viewed as serious criticism or highest praise, depending on one's viewpoint. Regardless, it's hard to imagine devotees of either band reacting to Angel-Thieves with anything other than pure joy, and that goes for fans of the Prayer Chain's Mercury, the Violet Burning's self-titled, and Bumblepuppy as well. 

Send $14 to:  Fade 
                      PO Box 1228 
                     Chapel Hill, NC 27514 

E-mail fademail@mindspring.com for lyrics or further info. 

By Josh Spencer