STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 33124-13165 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Nigel Bayley
'Purple Cross' is a strong first effort from this bunch of five guys from Tennessee who have come a long way to be where they are. Lead vocalist Mark Smith and guitarist Daniel Byrd have both come out of a traumatic past of drug addiction (Mark was addicted for 28 years) and this album expresses what their salvation has meant to them. Mark has written nearly all the songs and with lines like "God I'm glad I can finally say that I'm free" and "The pain's forever gone", the album is full of references to their transformation and, of course, full of passionate praise. Musically they are difficult to place although there is certainly a southern twang detectable throughout. Songs like the opener "Use Me" and the bouncy "Thank You" have one foot firmly planted in country music. Then you hear the insistent rock of "Forgiven" and wonder where the band that was just playing has gone. And then you realise that until the final track, each alternate song is an acoustic ballad with just guitar and voice (and sometimes piano). Yet the guys carry it all off and their love for what they are doing comes across very clearly. 'Purple Cross' comes from deep in the heart and is well worth a listen.
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