From the first sound of "Cadillac Phunque" to the last second of "Numb," Family Force 5 never seemed to quit on Business Up Front/Party In the Back. Determined to make their mark in Christian music, they poured gallons of creative juices into producing a record unlike any other. Songs like "Kountry Gentlemen," "Love Addict," and "Earthquake" were the perfect blend of electronic beats and screamo-flavored Southern rock.
There were even splashes of hip-hop in tracks like "Drama Queen," "Supersonic," and "Put Your Hands Up." Add in crazy lyrics, aggressive vocals and instrumentation, and insanely entertaining concerts, and you've got yourself a recipe for success. No one in Christian or mainstream music alike has yet to rival the sound Family Force 5 birthed through this album in March of 2006.
What made this LP even better was the live show the band partnered with it. Every element, even down to Soul Glow Activatur's bedazzled Hulk gloves, enhanced the vibe of Business Up Front/Party In the Back. Emo-styled haircuts, clothes inspired by '80s new wave with a flair of Dolly Parton country, and an untamed stage performance reminiscent to that of Pearl Jam in the early '90s created an unbelievable experience that caused people to flock to venues and festivals in order to see them in person.
I was 14 when I saw the video for "Love Addict" and heard the music of Family Force 5 for the first time. I soaked in every outlandish moment filled with lightning bolts, skulls, hearts, and streaks of bright red like a sponge, mesmerized by the scene in front of me. It was in that moment that my world shifted.
To say Business Up Front/Party In the Back changed my life is a vast understatement. This album not only became a staple of my music taste, but it also introduced me to five guys who would become some of my biggest role models through the most important and impressionable times of my adolescence. I followed this band faithfully for 10 years, attending every show I possibly could. Sometimes I would travel an hour, other times eight hours. I waited in all the lines. I did every meet and greet. If they were on a magazine cover, I bought it. If they released a new T-shirt or poster, I had it. I could quote every line of their Really Real Shows, and I knew every word to every song.
Family Force 5 not only brought something brand new to the industry, but they also provided a place for fans to feel included and completely authentic. I'm not sure the band knew exactly what sort of impact their music would have, but I know many people, including myself, still feel Business Up Front/Party In the Back was special and something that hasn't been and can never be replicated.
And now, 12 years after the release of an album that began a legacy, we watch eagerly as the band makes a shift to experiment in new ways, with Jacob and Josh Olds reforming as FF5. Those of us that have been with them from the beginning will support them faithfully. Those that have yet to hear them are in for the ride of their lives.
But at the end of the day, it all stems back to those kids growing up in Marietta, putting beats all into their sampler. Christian music was changed forever by Business Up Front/Party In the Back, and this album will no doubt stand the test of time in the years ahead.
Jessi Ellerbe owns a small record store in Florida. She loves music more than anything in this world (except Jesus, of course). If she's not listening to music or working at her store, she's usually out record hunting, going to Disney World, spending time with her boyfriend, hanging out with family or friends, catching up on a favorite TV show, or curling up on the couch and watching a movie.
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