A Better Day Dawns for Rockheads
Posted July 18, 2017
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
I miss rock. It may not be "dead" as claimed by some, but it's rarer and rarer to find a release that dares to turn up the guitars. And the conundrum when you do find that type of album is whether you like it because it's truly exceptional, or because you're just starved for some rock.
XD Out's Better Day comes to a rock scene not as crowded as it has been before, with a sound that feels time-traveled from a previous decade. Brothers Chris and Josh Haynes bring a guitar-heavy sound that is crunchy and tasty for rockheads, with harmonies and melodies that are easy to sing to. Being independent, their sound is allowed to remain a bit more raw and unpolished than big label acts, so if that's your thing, you'll want to savor this.
Vocally, I had to do several double-takes to make sure this wasn't really Skillet's John Cooper circa 1996 time traveling to 2017. The vocals at several points feel like something old school Skillet would've come up with, complete with the unashamedly vertical lyrics. It's refreshing to hear rock that can spiritually transcend saying nice things to a generic "you," but the themes discussed do remain fairly basic thematically. "I'll Know" came the closest to giving me something deeper to ponder, singing about recognizing Christ. "Everything" is a good choice for a single, singable and engaging.
For guys just starting out, this is definitely a well-crafted batch of tunes. And touching back on the Skillet comparison for a second, I can't help but wonder if given those similarities, there may be a Comatose-level release waiting to be unleashed from the brothers Haynes.
The Bottom Line: For fans of classic-style Christian rock, or anybody eager for a healthy serving of guitars in general, XD Out is here to make sure 2017 doesn't pass without giving you some 4-chord goodness to chew on.
Song to Download Now:
"Everything" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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