Preparing oneself for the review ahead, especially when reading the label “Christian Post-Grunge”, all manner of pre-conceived reservations kick in of a God-anthem after God-anthem or snore music to the masses. But there was a pleasant surprise as The Killer opens with almost textbook perfection to the standard for any rock album, with a steady progressive groove and blossoms into its equally impressive chorus. Clichéd some may think, but in music, sometimes a good song is just that. This is a good song! Following into the anthemic Blessing, that holds a solid and controlled tempo that ticks all the boxes for American Rock Radio-friendly single material. In the U.S., there’s an abundance of Rock Radio stations, so this track will bounce around station-to-station merrily one thinks. Voodoo Doll is a pleasurable southern rocker that adds flavour with its near country rock vibe that could get the boot-scooting, shuffle down and nasty out in Hicksville, or just a damn fine whisky bar rocker. Nothing to Say serves as the standard rock ballad single that’s pretty straight forward, and sadly predictable; yet it’s safe as far as ballads go, without sounding harsh. Time steadily picks the pace slightly back up, and even with some nice harmonies halfway in, doesn’t quite hit the mark, but fans of MOR rock may have a different opinion. The title track kicks in with a cool riff and opening build up, before ripping into a soothing flow of heavy rock that gets the head bopping along nicely as a standout. These guys know their craft, and righteously so they should with almost 20 years behind their belt. Save Yourself sits in the mix as another single amongst the singles these guys have crafted, adding an almost delicate precision to cement the standard in what’s currently being digested with extra cheese in the U.S. right now. Paul McCoy works his vocal chops firmly on tracks like this, and holds his own as a balladeer on tracks like Lerlene that will make any mother happy, and bring you closer to the one you love as a feel good ballad, or just hit fast forward to the next track. The choice is yours. Memphis brings the tempo back up at first and then plateaus to a steady hold as a stock standard mid-tempo rocker. Hey Man, however, continues the holding steady asking the listener questions within themselves as the life obstacle, and when lyrics like “as you fall down, get up, don’t hesitate” and “Hey Man, are you strong enough to face the day” present themselves, you know these guys have something to say and genuinely care for the people out there or offer a baptism of sorts. Songs like How Long continue the steady flow of rock on offer here that safely sits in the pocket of albums that offer easily digestible rock for the masses of MOR fans. Hello Suicide says it all in the title, and the track is that acoustic ballad that screams radio single: though the title may deter at first. Anthem for the Underdog brings the tempo back up with a feel-good rocker that soars with commercial appeal. 12 Stones know how to pump out the catchy rock singles well, and this album is full of them. We Are One rounds out this latest offering with an almost predictable and slightly rebellious anthem for the fist pumpers of the universe and wraps this album up neatly and crisply. Definitely some small surprises here on an otherwise safe and straight forward rock album of singles galore that will sit in the collection and no doubt make some noise on American Rock Radio.
“Picture Perfect” is OUT NOW via Cleopatra Records. Grab your copy now via iTunes.