Nine Lashes – World We View
Although I am a huge fan of many top-runner Christian rock bands such as Switchfoot, Skillet, and Red, I occasionally find myself skeptical when exploring new Christian rock bands out of fear that they may not live up to the hype of other rock genres. Luckily, with the case of the up-and-coming five-piece band Nine Lashes, I found myself astounded by what I’ve heard and pleased with the views that they present and the sound that they’ve weaved. The band’s core message centers around their faith, as evidenced by their name; “Nine Lashes” being a tribute to the wounds that Christ took before his sacrifice. However, the band’s central creeds presented in their music are also ones of inspiration and hope that fans of all types and backgrounds can rally behind.
World We View, the debut album for this Birmingham, Alabama quintet, opens up with the song “Anthem Of The Lonely.” The track, also the band’s first single, is aptly the most powerful song on the album in my opinion, and is the song that will likely be Nine Lashes’ trump card as they launch themselves to new heights with the release of World We View. This song is an ample reflection of what raw power the band brings through its pulsing, elemental guitar riffs, emotional and motivating lyrics, and an overall sound that gives me newfound respect for Christian rock bands and the intensity that they can bring to their music as Nine Lashes does.
The song’s title was spot on for the lyrical message of not only the song, but the whole album. This message being that one must take a stand for what they believe in, even if doing so makes you a loner. Throughout the debut track, I found myself enjoying multiple sounds all at once; the adrenaline-pumping riffs throughout, vocalist Jeremy Dunn’s smooth yet pronouncing vocals, and the overall instrumental sound that is uplifting and inspirational while possessing enough raw energy to send you into a frenzy. “Anthem Of The Lonely” may well become my personal anthem as I explore this album (and the band’s future music) further.
“The Intervention” is a song that retains the energy presented in the song before it, while adding vibrant use of keyboard to the mix. I found the chorus of this song to be particularly addicting as well, with the vocals and instrumentals never faltering in speed or intensity throughout. The addition of the keyboard only complimented the rigorously animated pace of the song.
“Get Back” slows pace down slightly and plays off with vibes somewhat similar to a hip hop feel. As I listened to this song, I also couldn’t help but relate back to the general sound of bands like Three Days Grace and Taking Back Sunday, among others. The song has somewhat of a “feel good” vibe to it while being nonetheless as edgy as the songs that preceded it.
“Afterglow” is a more melodic song that blends softer vocals and instrumentals with more light-hearted acoustics. The change of pace to the smooth melodies and the emotionally triumphant lyrics in this song was a welcome relief as I progressed through the album.
“Adrenaline” is pure, unbridled battle cry music, right up there alongside “Anthem Of The Lonely.” The song is aptly named because of its heavy, adrenaline-pumping sound and the pulsing beats that makes me want to brave the mosh pit with reckless abandon. The raucous guest vocals of Thousand Foot Krutch’s vocalist, Trevor McNevan, only add to the thumping power of this mosh-worthy, riot-starting song.
“Believe Your Eyes” slows pace down slightly but still remains original and entertaining to listen to instrumentally. The vocal content of this song is also more elevated in the choruses in spite of slower vibes.
“Our Darkest Day” launches with a solemn opening that is reflected in some aspects of the rest of the song. I found the lyrical content to be pleasantly edgier with this song. The darkness and emotional eeriness of the song is amplified by the addition of guttural vocals from Demon Hunter’s vocalist Ryan Clark. The stark contrast between the clean vocals and heavy vocals on this song was a unique change and seemed to fit the bill of the song’s darker edginess well.
“Memo” related similarly to the softer vibes of a pop rock song. Despite a slower pace, the instrumentals remained fluid and parallel to the positive, light-hearted atmosphere of the song. I also couldn’t help but notice that there was a bit more elegance to the vocals on this song as well. Since the song’s message seems to center around holding on to one’s dreams, it only makes sense that the vocal content of the song smoothly reflects that.
“Write It Down” to be a rather abnormal song (in a good way). The song seems to change pace throughout, with a techno-like opening, and even pacing throughout. However, toward the end of the song, the vocal and lyrics take a turn toward an eerie whispered verse, followed swiftly by the faster-paced chorus again. The transition within the song surprised me and gave me further appreciation of the track.
“The Void” was amongst my favorite songs on the album. The uplifting, dramatic lyrical content combined with a satisfying chorus and background vocals that gave the song an almost gothic feel to it made this track stand out for me.
The album ended off on the melodic song “My Friend.” The simplicity of the lyrical content ““the value of friends listening to each other- was encouraging and enlightening as much as many of the other “anthems” that were featured throughout the album. The pace of this slower song and its lighter acoustics made it a pleasant way to end off World We View.
World We View by Nine Lashes was a near-perfect launch into what will likely be a successful career for these Christian rockers. The varying sounds that collide wondrously together throughout the album give the band a unique power that doesn’t fit into any one category. They manage to strike a balance between giving a pulsing, smooth sound that can be compared to other major players of their standard, while giving an edgy spin on things that becomes addictive to listen to.
Furthermore, Nine Lashes is a driving force that raises the bar for Christian rock bands. The band is both inspirational and powerful and discovering fans can truly rally behind and be given hope by them. I look forward to delving into World We View, as well as other ground-breaking future releases by Nine Lashes later on.Nine Lashes - World We View,