Lost Persons Area
Rocking metal praise album of intelligence and power,
sadly with some predictable lyrics but redeemed by some majorly pre-amped
This band is based in Bermondsey, London, has been working hard
since forming very early in 2000 and has a wide-ranging variety of attitudes
to sartorial and hirsute elegance.
This isn’t one for falling asleep to after Sunday lunch, but huge
anthems for youth praise events and screaming with while alone in the
car, perhaps on the motorway. The CD comes in a nicely-presented package
with shots of the band members (two with instruments, one looking alarmingly
like Keith Green at his worst) and a keeps-you-guessing attitude to lyrics – you
know they’re nearly right but then they catch you out again. There’s
an humble dedication to Jesus, hoping ‘this album will make you
smile’. I could see our Lord headbanging, his long divine locks
flopping about over the throne of heaven as angels dance and frolic with
abandon. Don’t forget, God gave rock & roll to you, as it says
in the Good Book somewhere (probably).
Didn’t quite get the house-on-stilts picture, or the album’s
title. This seems primarily one for the Insiders. But I may be wrong
In depth, track-by-track analysis/comment/wonderings:
(good title) is a 300mph blister-rocker with a lip-thrashing vocal; it’s
got more energy than Llanwern Blast furnace ever had. There’s a
slight danger that someone enthusiastic might try this as a congregational
song, slowing it to allow for the less vocally-adept and thus robbing
it of the mad, abandoned, daft-for-God message it conveys. It’s
Jesus Freak by DC Talk without the gentleness!
owes more than a little (sorry to mention it so early on, boys) to Hanson’s
Mmm-bop at the start, and then turns into a tumbling collection of chords
and cultured bass-playing. Great lyric well delivered and with considerable
passion. Seems to ramble a bit, covering a request to be shaken, a rock
that is higher than I, kisses, tears, running with eyes closed and the
good Samaritan. But for once I don’t care. The guts and heart make
up for any poetic shortcomings.
Fantastic lyric, great set of changes, with great 60’s style bass
playing and powerchords. Suddenly seems to lose it’s way and come
to a premature end, but never mind, thanks to modern technology I can
press the right button and hear it all again. And it’s so good,
you want to do that three times at least. This is a song that makes you
praise God for the glory of salvation; even though it’s David’s
testimony, there’s a resonance that my heart picks up and with
which it wants to run.
Keeper of Me
This prose poem (certainly among the best-composed on the disc) is thought-provoking: ‘Your
blood cleanses me deeper/Than a thousand sorrys I say.’ And it
has a fascinating groove. The worshipful atmosphere and grandeur of the
way the song develops work for me. This band isn’t just tempo and
power chords; they can ballad a bit too.
King of all Kings
Probably the single or at least the most congregation-friendly song here;
I shudder to imagine what a church meeting might do to some of the
subtle timing in the delivery of these bog-standard praise song lyrics.
Little effort put into rhyming or fresh phrases; it’s catchy
and bouncing and would count as a great spontaneous outpouring of devotion – know
what I mean? High production values here, with extra bits of beevee
More than a song
is exactly that; it’s a loud shout of glory, with a strong hook
and great singing. Thin Lizzy fronted by Paul Kossof (Free) with Keef
Richard guesting on lead. Oh yes, I like this a lot. Imagine if worship
songs got remade just like movies; this is Redman’s Heart of Worship,
where he apologises for merely singing in appropriately melancholy tones,
remade by a brash young director, achieving something joyful and reverently
exuberant. Or maybe that’s too difficult to imagine… And
it has a classic metal ending, which is always a good thing.
I Can Hear
I can hear a curiously thundering bass and not a lot else, sadly. But
the mandolin-style guitar twiddling is pleasant. Lyrics here are slightly
corny with some rhymes less well-crafted than in other places. But
it’s a U2-alike track which is worth several listens. My respect
for the vocalist grows.
Need to see you
is a tuneful but strangely disappointing song. Theological weakness spoils
an otherwise thoughtful lyric: ‘To taste the sweetness of your
mercy I would drown my sins in blood’. The mercy of God is available
because your sins have been washed away by Christ’s blood, friend.
I know you know, but adding confusion to the truth is a not helpful
way to express yourself. Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) on vox is usually
not as good as this, but it’s a strange decision to try. Great
middle eight, but not great enough to bring the grade-point average
up to standard. The solo at the end of the track exposes a fantastic
snare sound. Okay so, what have we got? Interesting singing, good playing,
well-constructed middle eight, high production values, and yet still
the song doesn’t quite cut it. Maybe I’m being too critical.
H’mm. But then the first four tracks really delivered, so it’s
fair to expect more than this achieves. Close; cigar, even, but no-one’s
setting fire to it.
Light of Day
Paul Nicholas-style harmonic features on this, a jangly, grooving song. How many
albums do you have where the musicians can gleefully write on the credits:
Gob-Iron solo by our Vicar? A fragile acoustic guitar solo breaks across the
power chords, and the beevees make a positive and enjoyable contribution.
Indeed. No, that’s too dismissive. But this is sub-Squeeze, with lyrics
once again letting it down, using the concept of being ‘poor’ in
two, conflicting ways. Another near miss, almost redeemed by the brief but
sparking solo break and the excellent surprise ending.
Oh no, a keyboard! Great chorus, dodgy first verse. How come someone hasn’t
just suggested a few edits to line the songs up with scripture? I blame the
Vicar… Jesus isn’t clothed with righteousness; we are! I don’t
understand why Christ’s purity and possible clothing should elicit adoration
- they could perhaps be reasons for honour or respect; but it’s not really
explained. ‘That’s why I adore you my Lord.’ Perhaps there’s
just a slight case of non sequitor cliché-fest… And ‘I can’t
deny you of my praise’ is one of those phrases which expresses something,
but doesn’t actually mean anything. Since we’re in the communicating
truth business, shouldn’t we try a little harder to not only put over
an emotion but also to declare Bible truth in ways which respect God and the
English language? Or am I a sad old wrinkly with too much respect for grammar?
Not my fave song on the album, by quite a long way!
King of the World
A grand anthem, full of soul-wracked angst and deep unworthiness, which recognises both the
greatness and the majesty of God. But with a gloriously redeeming (in every sense of the word) showcase Freebird (all hail the
mighty, mighty Lynyrd Skynyrd) section towards the end!
starts with an homage to Extreme’s fantastic More than Words hit, but with
strangely over-recorded E and A strings on the acoustic, which make it boomy
and unbalanced, in my view. It reminded me of Charlie the held-together-with-araldite-and-chewing-gum
-but-nonetheless-falling-apart-complete-with-buzzes-and-thuds double bass we
had in the acoustic folk band with which I sang during the far-away
seventies. Nice tune, well-sung. But it’s a shame to end an album which
promised so much at the start with three of your weaker tracks. I like the ‘despite
all my needs I’ll go down on my knees’ focus on God, rather than ‘on
my needs’ or on ‘how blessed God must be to have me in his family’ style
of worship song, which this isn’t. But a weakish finish, with a ‘let’s
stop now’ rallentando in the last chorus and a cut-off-too-soon final ringing
The final paragraphs
Apparently band members come and go, and on account of this it’s frustrating
that the writing credits are simply noted as ‘all songs written by Glass
Darkly’. Who’s really doing the good work? But this album is well
worth the £10.99 just for the first few tracks, and you never know, you
might like the ones at the end, described by the man who provides a ‘ridiculous
level of support’ as ‘great worship ballads’. I suppose I’m
saddened that such a promising start isn’t fully sustained.
Don’t stop now! More power to your rockin’ elbows,
whenever you find a new drummer. Watch the beautiful glassdarkly.co.uk for
news of gigs etc