Rooted Deep – Give Him Praise

Rooted Deep – Give Him Praise
Chance Music Group
There are so many Christian music acts out there these days, and while you want to appreciate the ideals behind their music, you have to still be objective when listening to the quality of the music. Rooted Deep makes this objectivity easy though, as their talents and songwriting capabilities match their faithful reverence. The title track has a gritty guitar power with potent vocal harmonies and funk edged rhythms. “Power” is aptly title, it makes you feel THE power and want to get up and rock out with your praise. The emotive “Far Enough” proves that they are adept at harmonic ballads as well. Simply put, the members of Rooted Deep have both the musical and songwriting talent to be noticed with popular contemporary Christian acts like David Crowder, Chris Tomlin and Sixpence None The Richer. They are obviously true to their faith and are happy to use their God-given talents to share it with the world with positivity and excellent songs. – MW


Chadwick Station – Waiting For a Sunny Day

Chadwick Station – Waiting For a Sunny Day
Englishwood Records – ER-84227
A British band based in Nashville? What do you expect? Well, what you get is something quite interesting and pleasant to listen to. Vestiges of Brit-pop influences slide in graciously helping create a sort of warm, friendly pop vibe that feels like it should have been written decades ago, but manages to work its charms in modern times. The harmonies are smooth and silky, the rhythms tight, and there is just enough guitar punch married to the catchy hooks to give the music a subtle kick of upbeat feelings. Probably not something for the “trendy” alt crowd, but sometimes you feel if this music had been created years ago, that it is the type of songs The Killers should have listened to in their formative years. It also does not hurt that the legendary Bill Cuomo (Steve Perry, Reo Speedwagon, Smokey Robinson, etc.) produced this enjoyable five song EP. – MW


Kowtow Popof – Tastes Like Armaggedon

Kowtow Popof – Tastes Like Armaggedon
Wampus Multimedia
This latest effort from indie singer-songwriter Kowtow Popof could be classified as intellectual alt pop, if you wanted to pigeon hole it. That is hard to do however as there is some truly unique music created here – the type that can’t help but draw you into its subtly strange but compelling universe. Pulsing rhythms and seething synth backdrops harken to some midground between Marillion and Radiohead, with vocals that are reminiscent of a more tempered David Byrne, occasionally tilting to a Tom Petty-ish bluesy grit. The lyrics are intelligent but not pompous, drawing you in so you can really feel the thought-provoking stories with the music slithering around it like a harmonic nest of friendly snakes. With all the retro stylings, there is a fresh approach to what Kowtow does here, and the result is music that you can actually experience rather than just hear. – MW


Saxon – Sacrifice

Saxon – Sacrifice
UDR Records – UDR-0151
With Judas Priest and Iron Maiden supposedly “retiring”, Saxon is one of the few vestiges of the original New-Wave-of-British-Heavy-Metal left. Never as commercially successful as the aforementioned legends, Saxon nonetheless has amassed a tenaciously loyal following and one listen to their latest effort “Sacrifice” shows you why. They unabashedly stick to their roots, but still find ways to interject touches of uniqueness into their music, not merely rehashing something that was previously done. They are quite simply at their wall-shaking, head-banging best here, with plenty of blazing guitars, thunderstorm rhythms, potent vocals and grab-you-by-the-throat lyrics. As an extra “thank you” to their fans, they do include a bonus CD that has interesting reworkings of classic Saxon songs such as “Crusader” and “Just Let Me Rock”. With the new songs, there is nothing overly groundbreaking but it is damned enjoyable, reminding you of a time when metal was just no-nonsense loud guitar rock. Maybe with Maiden and Priest gone from the scene, Saxon can finally climb to the apex as kings of the NWOBHM mountain. And that will be a crowning they will have more then earned – with blood, sweat, broken strings and melted tube amps. – MW