Reviewed by Paul Keeble
This a double CD package showcasing the band's straight-ahead guitar-rock in the style of Foo Fighters with much chugga-chugga guitar, big drum sound, tight playing and the usual clean US production. First album, 2002's 'Kutless', track for track is good stuff, with competently-written songs, well executed, but after a while the songs begin to blur into one another and the relentless panned left and right,chugga-chugga gets a bit, well, relentless. The bits that stick in the mind are where there is something a bit different going on. "In Me" has a nice atonal two-note riff for instance. Sometimes a song begins with a very different feel, e.g "Run", with its cello lines, but eventually the big guitars are back in, almost like a safety net. The one exception is closer "Grace And Love", probably the most overtly Christian song on the album, with a simple piano backing, drums and bass added on the chorus and the big guitars given a breather. They're straight back in however for "Not What You See", the strong opener on second album 'Sea Of Faces' from 2004, in and out in under three minutes, making way for the interesting intro of "All Alone". Already in these openers there is evidence of an expansion of the band's sonic palette (still plenty of chugga-chugga though). The title track is an excellent worship song with a great melody and good use of piano. "And in your eyes I can see/I am not just a man vastly lost in this world/lost in a sea of faces" (check out the video on YouTube). Apart from a saggy bit in the middle, more than made up for by the lovely opening riff of "All The Words" which is the first of three stronger songs which close the album, overall this is a stronger set of songs (better that than the other way round). This is a good value package showcasing an improving band; good playing, thoughtful lyrics and a sprinkling of songs that tend to grow in depth with each listen, particularly on 'Sea Of Faces'.
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