Transform Your Indie Rock Collection
Posted December 07, 2016
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Banish the notion that indie rock can't be big and cinematic. With their new album Transformer, In the Verse takes listeners on an exciting ride down musical trails blazed by influences like Skillet, Red and Pillar, among others. The fingerprints of Christian rock staples abound, yet there's an original mix to it all that makes the album fresh.
Transformer is noticeably less polished than much of Christian rock, which helps each individual part stand out more. The intensity of the rock serves as a great contrast to beautiful piano moments ("Dying Words," "Already Are," "Alone") and calm techno hooks (such as in emotional album opener "Compassion"). Without over-mixing, you can truly appreciate the merit of the dynamic musical range. The music consistently hits hard, with the vocals doing their job to drive the passion behind the words.
The title track is one of the album highlights, exemplifying the best of the album's strengths. It might be easy to wonder what a Skillet-level production style could have done for these songs, but at the same time, it's the rawness of the music that makes it work. It's still a full and lush rock experience, with moments to headbang combined with chilling softer piano solos. "Mid-life's Night" is the closest the album gets to a full-blown ballad, and even this is still pretty energetic and is a definite catchy and engaging number.
I expect nothing but great things in the future for In the Verse. With rock not currently the most "trendy" thing in Christian music, it's refreshing to hear that some bands can still rock unapologetically while still being in touch with their softer side. Don't expect even a hint of watered-down lyrics here. Everything on Transformer is blunt, honest, Christ-centered lyrical meat. It's really great when everything in an album just clicks.
The Bottom Line: Transformer is a strong musical accomplishment, a rewarding and energetic musical success that adds a worthy contribution to the body of Christian Rock.
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