Reviewed by John Cheek
The logo for Plankton Records on the back cover took me back to a time when I was new to the Christian faith, in the early 1990s in Southend-on-Sea. Then, they were a Christian indie label, giving opportunities to British, often cutting-edge, acts; notably Fresh Claim. Years later, as I reside in Chester, it's nice to know that Plankton is still going and home-grown groups still have this platform. DiscipleMakers have a refreshingly unassuming and unpretentious four-track EP. Opening song "Disciplemaker" is immediately reminiscent of Altered Images' "Happy Birthday", and like with the aforementioned combo and Claire Grogan, DiscipleMakers have a vocalist in Sharon Sewell who sounds unusual and yet enchanting. This is apparent in the ethereal second track, with a Kate Bush-esque vocal delivery - possibly key to their future success. "I Endorse You" is also interesting for the main refrain - worship songs often remind us of how God loves us, died for us: but endorses us? Indeed, it speaks of righteousness which cannot be earned, and of a God who puts his trust in us. There is a tendency to feature too many "thees" in their lyrics. But there's a twist with their final song, "Blessed Be My Rock", a sparkling anthem where guitarist Steve Young airs his own Billy Bragg-esque styling. With bass duties ably performed by Ronnie Taylor, this is a humble, delightful recording from the Broadwater Studios in Gateshead. Just far enough away from London to allow DiscipleMakers' potential to mature.
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