1. “Oedipus” by Matthew Thiessen and the Earthquakes
Matt Thiessen, frontman for Relient K, released his first solo project this month and it’s pretty decent. It’s largely acoustic sound, far more mellow than the work of Relient K. Thiessen states that the band’s sound ins influenced by the works of Rufus Wainwright and Ben Folds. This particular song has stuck with me from the album. Through the use of both Oedipus Rex (that tragic figure from Greek mythology) and a race car bed, Thiessen sings unfulfilled dreams and life’s “passing you by.” It’s a beautiful song.
2. “Always Summer” by Yellowcard
This song was the first single off of the band’s 8th studio release. Both the song and the album received nearly universal appreciation from fans and critics. With a mature sound, Yellowcard made this pop-punk record the hit of 2012. The song is a basic love song (though some have suggested it is uniquely a love song for the fans), but Ryan Key has great vocals and there is an amazing rock violin solo.
3. “Can’t Trust No Man” by The Dingees
Christina music had its ska period in the late 90s. Everyone knows the big name bands that came out of that era: The O.C. Supertones, Five Iron Frenzy, and The Insyderz. The Dingees were a bit more obscure. Though the band started as a side project for some members of the Supertones, it eventually became its own established band with four albums. “Can’t Trust No Man” is from their Sundown to Midnight album, and it has a clean simple reggae sound to it. There’s not much to it, but it caught my ear this week and it has a catchy hook.
4. “Never Been to Seminary” by Darrell Mansfield
Darrell Mansfield is a pioneer in Christian rock, and was on the front edge when it was still referred to as “Jesus Music.” He is known for his work in blues rock as both a vocalist and harmonica player. This song is standard blues, but so good. Mansfield intros with a great harmonica riff. The song is his personal testimony that despite have not been educated, he was still able to accept God’s call of salvation.
5. “Your Tongue is the Deadliest of Arrows” by Dogwood
It must have been a punk rock week for me. The San Diego punk band Dogwood caught my ears again this week with this track from their seventh studio release, Seismic. The song is a rockin’ play on James’ teaching regarding the tongue in James 3:6.
6. “Away from You” by The O.C. Supersontes
This song has some great horns. From their third studio release, Chase the Sun, this song is sung to Christ, stating “there’s no life away from you.” It feels as though the chorus is a play on Peter’s words to Jesus in Jon 6:68. The song contains a duet between band frontman Matt Morginsky and gospel singer Crystal Lewis. It also has a gospel choir doing BGVs. If the gospel choir is a bit obnoxious by the end of the track, for most of the song it works and this is a unique and theologically rich worship song.