Rock Your World

By Andy_Argyrakis
Posted: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 21:35

album promo image for Rock Your World

By Andy Argyrakis, Senior Music Editor,

The titleof Disciple's latest,Southern Hospitality (INO), is particularly fitting, not just because the group's been based in Knoxville, Tenn. throughout its 15 years together, but because the project is riddled with an old-time rock n' roll vibe mixed with a bit of the blues. The players were inspired by several legends from yesteryear, though its raucous, hard rock sounds are still at the core of this dozen-track collection.

"I think these sounds are just part of us and we grew up listening to everybody really," confides frontman Kevin Young. "[We've listened to] guys like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bon Jovi and even Randy Travis if you can believe it. The southern sound is just a part of who we are and it's really nothing new to Disciple. I think we just explored that area a little more on this album…We are always trying improve on our sound. Hopefully the longer you do something, the better you get at it. I believe we are writing better songs than we ever have and I hope that that will not only expand our audience, but get our longtime fans excited as well."

In theory, that's exactly what happened when the release, which besides the musical evolution, sports a remarkably reflective lyrical base, hit the streets last Tuesday. Despite the overpowering amplification, Disciple has always made ministry the top priority and makes sure the lyrics are decipherable, even amidst the distortion. "It varies from song to song, but one of the major themes seems to be one of returning to God," Young continues. "Our song 'Whatever Reason' is a song about the Prodigal Son written from God's/the father's point of view and seems to be a theme that runs through several other songs as well."

Disciple is also turning over a new leaf in the membership department these days, with the current line-up including Young and fellow veterans Tim Barret on drums and Brad Noah on guitar (but only for the studio sessions due to health issues), alongside three new players. Guitarist Andrew Welch is a former member of Capital Lights, guitarist Micah Sannan used to be in Falling Up, while bassist Israel Beachy is best know for his time in Staple.

"We have been extremely fortunate to make friends with some really talented people over the years so it was a relatively easy process to find our new members," Young adds. "They have really added new excitement to our live show and have taken our professionalism up to the next level."

TFK leads hard rockin' holiday

With the plethora of Christmas collections on the market this season, it can be challenging to sift through the quantity to find a project that truly stands out. But in the case of BEC Recordings' new X Christmas, there's no possible way to get confused with more traditional interpretations of carols and other Yuletide reflections, if only for these alternative rock, punk and rap spins. The project kicks off with Thousand Foot Krutch's feisty rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock" and also features pop/punkers Hawk Nelson embracing "Gloria," alt-rockers Anberlin with their "Baby, Please Come Home," hip-hopper KJ-52 tackling "It's Christmas Time" and FM Static's aggressive spin on "Christmas Shoes." Also be on the lookout for appearances by other acts in the EMI family, including Switchfoot, David Crowder Band and Sanctus Real.

"This is far from traditional!" promises TFK/FM Static frontman Trevor McNevan, adding a "ha" to that statement for extra emphasis. "Naturally a Christmas cover isn't something we'd normally be asked to do, so when the question came, we were like…'allllll right' and just had fun with it. It's definitely a heavier interpretation of a holiday classic and I think X is a brand that automatically welcomes the 'out of the box' characteristics you may find on some of these songs as well as traditional. When you see 'X,' you're seeing 'Edge!'"

Shoegazing with Starflyer 59

Acclaimed indie rockers Starflyer 59 are currently putting some last-minute touches on their ninth full-length studio CD Dial M (Tooth & Nail), though ever-elusive frontman Jason Martin shared a few scarce details about the disc with continuing the group's shoegazing tradition of dreamy rhythms, ethereal instrumentation and the singer's laidback delivery, also expect a unique pool of classic rock influences coming together for the first time thus far in the band's tenure.

"It's more of an acoustic based record than our previous albums," muses Martin. "[It falls] somewhere between Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd if that makes any sense and [the message is simply:] life can be bad, but God is good."


About the Writer

Andy Argyrakis is a Chicago-based entertainment writer/photographer who appears in the Chicago Tribune, Illinois Entertainer, Daily Journal, Concert Livewire, Hear/Say Magazine and Image Chicago (to name few). His record label writing credits include Warner Brothers, Atlantic, Curb, EMI and Universal, with additional photo credits for Fuse TV, Live Nation, Nikon, Pollstar, Celebrity Access, Paste Magazine, and He's also the author/narrator of "Access Matthews" (an audio CD tracing the career of Dave Matthews Band) and spends considerable time on tour, including outings with Arlo Guthrie, The Guess Who, Madina Lake (on Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution) and Gospel Music Channel's very own "Gospel Dream" (where he served as season one judge).

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