So occasionally over the past month or so I have by mistake tuned to Christian stations on the left hand part of the dial looking for an NPR station, and thought “hey, this sounds pretty good!” Then of course when they start to get all preachy I turn the station.
So I’m looking for non-hard rock such as Anberlin and Jimmy Eat World (if they were about 5% lamer) that are relatively clean, sensitive sounding, and do not play extremely hard rock, but don’t go making love songs to Jesus all the time. I’m not looking for:
– Acoustic or bluesy wimp rock such as Dashboard or John Mayer.
– Stuff with too much indie or computer-production cred such as FTSK or All American Rejects. Those two bands are about the wimpiness level I am looking for but I am exposed to enough of that stuff as it is to be able to know which bands to look into more.
– Opel (by Syd Barrett)
I call it clean rock. Bands like Switchfoot and Relient K. Of course, those are “christian”, but, I dig their songs… I’ve developed a way to gloss over the ‘jesus’ stuff, and just distill the positive message.
Third Eye Blind
I’ll come back if I think of some more…
Funeral for a Friend’sTales Don’t Tell Themselves sounded very ‘clean rock’ to me. Very melodious and catchy tunes on that one. It was out of place from their usual sound, and a lot of fans dissed it, but I rather dug it.
Their latest one, Memory and Humanity, while harder and more true to their form, is excellent music.
Also, I only suggest Blink 182, in case you happened to like Relient K’s sound. They’re very similar, although Blink isn’t what I’d call clean. But their later stuff was a little more grown-up.
I’m not sure this one qualifies per the OP’s requirements of “relatively clean, sensitive sounding” - depending on what exactly is meant by that. The Hold Steady does a fair amount of singing about drug abuse, casual sex, “your hoodrat friends”, and so on. Imagine if Bruce Springsteen gained some weight, put on some glasses, developed a strong fondness for the Twin Cities, and started singing about a bunch of teenage/young 20s folks who got deep into drugs and maybe didn’t get out. Oh, and at least one album has a pretty indepth exploration of issues with Catholicism but not in a “praise Jesus” fashion by any means.
Great songs, don’t get me wrong (I have 4 of their albums and a recording of a live show on my iPod as I write this), but it might be not quite what’s being looked for here.
I probably should have added more to my post than just a list. I put Anberlin on it simply because I think they’re the best band out of all the ones that I listed, and for the benefit of others as well. I didn’t really put descriptions next to the bands to prevent stereotyping or thinking “oh, I won’t bother, I don’t think I’ll like that”.
I didn’t equate FTSK with Forever the Sickest Kids. I had never heard of them before a friend recommended them to me and I didn’t know they were well known, let alone enough to be commonly referred to by an abbreviation.
Regarding The Hold Steady: I’ve only listened to their latest album, and maybe only twice. I’m sure you’re a better authority on them than me, Ferret Herder.
Also, since the sdmb doesn’t want to let me edit my post above, add Jack’s Mannequin to the list.
Much of Van Morrison (in particular some of his early 80’s era) has Christian overtones, with several songs explicitly mentioning Christ… There are some musically stunning songs included in that number.
Haven’t heard too much from them (in fact can’t recall if I’ve heard more than their one hit) but they seem to me to be trying too hard to be cool, but if they weren’t they might be appropriate. (I dont care if you are trying hard to be cool i just dont want you to show it :)) They seemed to be like Nickelback and Puddle of Mud in that they try to be pathetic but are too reserved to not still have a trace of fairly macho neo-grunge growl behind it.
Of course I could be wrong.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I seriously am going to check out all these bands!
Well, if you want something a little different, try Danielson, or The Danielson Familie. First, you’ll hate the lead singer’s voice, then you’ll get past it and realize how amazing the music they are making is. It’s a family of about 8 people (ranging in ages from early thirties to mid-teens) making incredible music, and they are often joined by the likes of Sufjan Stevens.
I’ve always thought that Christian music should, theoretically, be the best/most powerful stuff out there. They’re singing about GOD ferchrissakes. What could be more powerful than that? Instead, it’s a genre of music I have the hardest time listening to.
Danielson and The Mae Shi are different. They both have the energy that you would expect from musicians who are singing about something as important as God is to them. I don’t know if you’d like The Mae Shi, they’re quite a bit more punk than anything else on this list. But give them a try if you’re in the mood for something different.
I’m not clear on exactly what kind of music the OP is asking for. I want to mention, though, that for a long time I thought Linkin Park was a Christian band because of their sound. Then I heard the lyrics to some of their songs and was even more convinced.
Do you mind horns? I’ve been away from it for a while, but a lot of the third-wave ska from the ‘90s might appeal to you. It is, by its nature, upbeat, and more often than not, is positive in its messages. Incidental, it was through the youth group at church that I had gotten into it; though the music its self was not religious at all, nor was I particularly. A few of my favorite groups were the Aquabats(think Devo w/horns; fun, lighthearted; childhood set to music), Let’s Go Bowling(very jazzy, perhaps my top fav), Mighty Mighty Bosstones(a little bit harder than most, due in large part to the singer’s voice), Mustard Plug(pure skankin’ goodness). As far as ska goes, pretty much anything Mike Park touches is gold. The **Asianman Record **compilationscould make for a good starting point, and you can’t beat the price. I’ve actually only have heard one, the first Mailorder is Fun, but it is a great introduction. Besides, it’s 29 songs for only a couple bucks.
I assume you’ve already heard Weezer’s Blue Album, but that seems like it would be a good fit.
Frantics(no ‘the’) - Meet the Frantics, might just be the best fit I can think of. Standout tracks would be ‘Kids of Summer’ and ‘Whats up with your homie?’ Then there is this review from amazon…