STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 1373-3216 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Yep, life's not easy...particularly if you're a grassroots UK Christian rock band. Not only do you face the gruelling realities of few gigs and little resourcing that every time you play a gig you're effectively shelling out to minister the Gospel. Not only are you faced with Christian record companies who don't respond to your demo tapes and festivals who don't answer your letters. You also find that once you've saved up enough money to record a CD independently, you risk some ruthless Cross Rhythms reviewer telling you it's abysmal. And that, of course, is always a risk. Forgoing the right to expensive recording studios and record producers brings the possibility of releasing a CD into the reach of most artists. But it hugely increases the risk that all your songwriting, all your dues paying in the transit van, all those angst-filled hours in the studio (in the case here the Kwanza Hut Studios at the RAFL) only produces a substandard album. So all power to Splat's collective elbow that they've delivered a good, honest debut CD. Don't get me wrong. They're not the next Delirious?. There are some obvious problems that a producer would have ironed out -lead singer Dave Minard misses an occasional note in his gruff, gutsy vocals; similarly the BVs don't really work - but this album still contains a passion and honesty that many a slick, big budget recording lacks. I love the relentless drive and memorable hook of "Freedom". I love the sheer in-your-face directness of the lyrics of "Good Thing" ("I would use chemicals, I would use liquid trash/And I had feelings I couldn't control/I heard about you from a friend. He said that you would change my life ) and I love the gutsy drive of Izzy Caughran s guitar. I love the band for such relentless dues paying tenacity in going the extra mile (make that thousands of miles) for the sake of the Kingdom of God and not some sad, transitory dream of pop hit stardom. Buy this album if you like Ramones/punk tinged gutsy rock with no pretentions. Even better, book them to do a gig. Life s Not Easy may be a long way from the Nashville bright lights, but I suspect it s close to God s heart.
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