This is kind of a genuinely forgotten gem. It’s agreeable pop-punk-rock and the group is a Christian group. But the Christianity isn’t in your face, except on a couple of songs. And the music is just phenomenal. The band has a lot of great styles to shift around. There’s the gospel-choir stomp In the Name Of, which is the most explicitly “Christian” of the songs. There’s some retro seventies rock, some melodic punk . . . and a few that don’t work. But when the songs are good, they are very, very good indeed. There’s a real rave-up called Longer Weekend; it’s about exactly what you think it is and it’s got a phenomenal sound. The album opener, Lower, is a melancholy look at the everyday stresses of life. I Tried is a bittersweet, piano driven rocker about making other people’s decisions for them. Night Drives is probably the best. It’s a country tinged rock ballad, about being lonely on the road. It’s a clichéd subject, but it really works. The album has exactly three bad songs on it, the acoustic country tune Mountain Man, the stupid ballad Train Song and, most especially, the album closer, a lethargic, overwrought piano ballad named Bria. It’s unfortunate, that Train Song and Bria are two of the final three songs. So the album peters out, unfortunately, after starting with a bang and really keeping the high energy up. Well, whatever, those three weak songs don’t detract from the fact that the album works really well for almost the entire running time. The three bad songs are too awful for the album to get a four star rating. But it’s a very good album. Recommended. 3 ½ stars.
tl;dr – endearing, high energy, catchy with well-written songs in a variety of moods and styles. Group’s Christianity rarely intrudes and never does so obnoxiously. Really fine forgotten album. 3 ½ stars.