STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 176-21 LABEL: 5 Minute Walk FMD5218 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
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Reviewed by Rod Lobaugh
They call it ska-core. Punk rock fused with the bouncy rhythms and horns of ska music ala The Specials. Now bands like the Voodoo Glow Skulls have built a fan base for "Third Wave Ska" music. When The Supertones released their album on Tooth & Nail Records, a virtual flood gate opened into the Christian market and now it seems that ska-core bands are sprouting up all over the place. Of these come Five Iron Frenzy with their debut. Several songs here deal with tough issues like unity in the Church and the atrocities committed in the name of Christ in the past and present. With songs like "Where Zero Meets Fifteen" where Reese Roper, the lead singer and writer of most of the songs, deals with his inability to help the suffering people around him. It's easy to see that Five Iron Frenzy is not just another band pointing a condemning finger. "Upbeats And Beatdowns" also contains a couple of strangely different songs. One being a song dealing solely with the '80s television show Different Strokes and the other is a hilarious ska-core version of Amy Grant's early hit "Everywhere I Go". While a few of the songs come off as cheesy, 'Upbeats And Beatdowns' maintains a strong lyrical diversity, sometimes funny and light hearted, at other times tough and hard hitting.
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