If some of the most distinct features of the very best Christian music has to offer were to be thrown into the same pudding mixture, this would be the result. Take the self-consciously cheesy keyboards of All Stars United, add the wry lyrics of Why? and stir in the praise-pop of Tree.
Yet despite the heavy calibre of each of these bands, to compare New Zealand's the Lads with them is in itself to do them an injustice, condemning them to the shelves of the sound-alikes. The Lads, although in some ways similar, are both distinct and original. Faster tracks such as "Higher Love" or the ska driven "Song For Richard" trip merrily along, adorned with lyrics which can only have been written as a result of listening to far too much Frank Zappa in years gone by.
Slower tracks are thought or even tear provoking; "I Want To Be Faithful" represents the kind of worship song you never get to sing in church - open, honest, confessional, funky, hopeful and yet still celebratory.
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