Undercover - Balance Of Power (1990)

hudební novinky 1990 / music news 1990
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Undercover - Balance Of Power (1990)

Príspevokod užívateľa Horex » 20 Aug 2021, 15:24

Undercover - Balance Of Power (1990)

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Year : 1990
Style : Melodic Hard Rock , Christian Rock
Country : United States
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans + Video
Size : 180 mb


Bio:

Undercover is an American Christian band based in Fullerton, California, formed in the early 1980s by Joey "Ojo" Taylor and James "Gym" Nicholson. Through more than two decades and a few lineup changes, the band released eight studio albums and two live albums, and were pioneers in what would later be called Alternative music in the Christian world. The band was known for the spiritual growth shown in their music as their career progressed; CCM Magazine once called them "the band that grew up in public."Undercover started as a second-generation Jesus movement based band, associated with Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and its Maranatha! Music record label."God Rules," the title track of the second album, is the song that set apart Undercover in the Christian music scene from the rest of the "beginning" bands.While the band has seen several members come and go (and come again), Taylor has said on more than one occasion that the band decided sometime after 1994's Forum that "Undercover is Ojo, Gym, Sim, and Gary," emphasizing that any other lineup, if any, would in the future be called something else.Undercover played two reunion shows in California in August 2005. In a message posted on the band's forum that month, Taylor wrote, "We are internally, as a band, trying to figure out where to go from here and what that might look like, given our life realities and burning desire to fulfill whatever musical calling we might have, too. We appreciate your prayers."When Undercover released its first album in 1982, it was described by some as "Christian punk," characterized by high-energy anthems, rebellious themes, and short, three-chord songs. Mohawk hairstyles, tattoos, and torn jeans did little to convince people otherwise; nor did the next few albums, which contained punk versions of traditional hymns ("Holy Holy Holy"), shouted vocals ("God Rules"), and simplistic, direct lyrics ("Jesus is the Best"). The CCM Magazine review of their God Rules album claimed the band was New Wave rather than punk, as "the anarchy of punk is 180 degrees opposite of these boys."1986's Branded took Undercover in a different direction with keyboard-laden melodies and darker, more introspective lyrics. In "Pilate", sung from the point of view of Pontius Pilate, the persona struggles with the guilt of having crucified Jesus, confessing, "I killed him, I killed him after all." Other song titles on this album were "Cry Myself to Sleep" and the prolific "Darkest Hour."Branded marked a turning point for the band, as on future releases it would continue to explore aspects of Christian life not frequently addressed by the CCM musicians who were finding increasing acceptance on secular airwaves and with secular audiences. The next several albums each differed slightly in musical tone from the others, but the poetic, honest, introspective lyrics would be a constant throughout the rest of the band's career.Devotion took the band in a more retrospective direction with lyrics more akin to poetry. Allowing the listener to design the theme. If you didn't know the back story to this band, you would not know they were "Christian Oriented" by this collective recording. The title track Devotion explores the feelings of Mary Magdalene and the guilt she overcame through the loving forgiveness as she "touched the bottom of his robe". Purple Flower is mainstream, meta-poetry surrounded by Wison's talented vocal stretch. Wonderful is the final realization and arguably passion-fused, more so then the title track. Devotion was the last album (in most listener's opinions) to contain and present the core of the 'Undercover' theme.

Album:

A complete 11-song album...very musical, yet very unlike WhiteHeart, Petra and all the other Christian bands I was listening to... this album got me through some of the rougher times of the early teenage years. And to this day, I still get shivers up my spine when I hear Sim's scream in the last song...A very difficult album to follow up on... yet almost too dark in tone. The overall tone of the album made a lot more sense when I read an article in Syndicate about Undercover's albums. It was with great eagerness that I anticipated the release of their next album, Devotion. This was definitely my favorite Undercover CD. I love World Comes Crashing Down, Eyes Of Love & Land of Luxury. But every song is excellent, not full of filler songs just straight up rock. If you do not have this CD get it or better yet get the Anthology which has 4 CD's.I understand that, for many old school Christian punk fans out there, they remember Undercover as that California surf punk band with a thin New Wave shellac, and album and song titles that can double as nifty bumper sticker slogans. For me, though, my first exposure to the band known as Undercover was by way of the song “World Come Crashing Down” that was included on the Ultimate Metal 2 compilation that Star Song Records put out around that time. It wasn’t too bad…though calling it “metal” seemed a bit of a stretch. Of course, I had no knowledge of the band at the time, and didn’t really start seeking out their discography and history until some time later.Balance Of Power was the album that was released after 1986’s Branded, which many consider the transition album that saw Undercover segue from a happy New Wave-y punk band to a darker, more introverted post punk alternative band, much like The Cult. Balance Of Power continued on in that darker path, resulting in an album that is dark, moody and probably the heaviest they released thus far.The music on Balance Of Power is dark, heavy and…quite frankly, fantastic. It’s brooding, crammed with great guitar riffs with the perfect type of vocals that complement the introspectively dark lyrics. Front to back, I found Balance Of Power pretty solid, some massive comparisons to The Cult when it comes to describing this type of Gothic-style hard rock.It’s been said that Ojo Taylor considers Balance Of Power his least favorite Undercover album. Maybe it was due to the circumstances happening that resulted in the darker vibe and writing, I don’t know. I have to say, personally, that Balance Of Power ranks as one of my favorite darker works, and joins the likes of L. S. U. and Dead Artist Syndrome when I get in the kind of a mood. Which is frequent, in case you’re wondering. Recommended.

Line Up:

Gary Dean Olson - Drums, Vocal
Gym Nicholson - Guitar, Vocal
Sim Wilson - Lead Vocal
Ojo Taylor - Bass, Keyboards

Former members:

Ric Alba: bass, vocals
Danny Pavlis: drums, vocals
Bill Walden: lead vocals, saxophone
Dave Hackbarth: handclaps, vocals
Rob Gallas: vocals
Chuck Cummings: drums
Dave Raven: drums

Tracklist:

01. World Come Crashing Down
02. The Way Of The Rose
03. The Eyes Of Love
04. Land Of Luxury
05. Time
06. Love Me Dangerously
07. Light Of Day
08. Last Rites (There Is No Sky)
09. Bridge Of Life
10. I Love You So
11. Mea Culpa/Remember Me

+ Video "Time" (Official Video)

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