Awaken us 300Retro harmony-driven sounds with an earnest message

Label: Independent (  
Time: 5 Tracks / 21 minutes

The band's website quotes influences from Chet Atkins and Hank Williams to Lifehouse, Muse and Zeppelin, with several of the players admiring Chris Tomlin. That list comes through in the music they play. From piano-driven ballads to a riff-led mild rocker, this EP could easily have been made in the seventies.

Lyrically, it has escaped from the more vacuous trends of recent years, as the songs deal with an invitation to faith, praying for everyday people around us, caring for the forgotten and dealing with our fallibility.

This is middle-of-the-road material in many ways. No tracks are worthless, but neither do any feel essential; the musicianship is strong, but there are a couple of vocal wobbles; the songs have character and purpose, but a couple have some poor scanning that stands out as a distraction. The disc stands repeats, but rarely moves from the head to the heart (in “Call Your Name” the band sings, “Fling open wide, come inside, set me aflame, burn with light, come ignite” but they sound unmoved).

Quite a few players contribute and five of them share vocals, giving this a smooth layer of harmony.

As the name suggests, they have an earnest message, and they might appeal particularly to fans of Casting Crowns.


Derek Walker

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