A while back, I heard one of my favorite Christian Rock bands were making a comeback. Audio Adrenaline, who stopped touring in 2007, due to their lead-singer and co-founder, Mark Stuart’s vocal challenges. Instead, they began focusing on their mission work in Haiti, the “Hands & Feet Project.” In 2012, they announced they would soon begin again with a new band.
The only returning member is Will McGinniss, on bass. The rest of the band is quite an ensemble of talent, though. Kevin Max (dcTalk) is taking lead vocals, Dave Ghazarian (Superchick) is on lead guitar, Jared Byers (Bleach, Relient K) takes a seat behind the drums, and Jason Walker (Know Hope Collective) is providing keyboards and additional vocals.
The biggest song is the title track, which is an emotional anthem for all, but it especially has the children of Haiti in mind. King of the Comebacks is also a fun track that seems to have a double meaning. While they are obviously singing of Jesus, they also allude to their own comeback. Mark is even featured in a small vocal portion near the end, which is a great bonus. Other standout songs include Change My Name, 20:17, and The Answer. While some may notice a theme of redemption that flows throughout the album, others may not catch a connection between all the songs. In that way, it does seem like a few steps back for the band, but this is somewhat expected, given that it is basically a brand new group. So, while it does have a feeling of a new band’s first album, I only expect them to get better and better as they begin to gel as AudioA 2.0.
I was initially apprehensive about this new group, but this album is really good. While Kevin is a great singer, he does bring a different sound than Mark. Jason also has a great voice, but he does not remind me of Tyler Burkum. I will say, though, that both Dave and Jared are amazing on the guitar and drums, respectively! In the end, it might not be the same old AudioA, but that does not mean it is bad. If you can get past the absence of Mark at lead vocals, you will realize this is a great record.
The additional advantage of this new AudioA is that they have stated up-front that much of the profits of this new effort will go to support the Hands & Feet Project, which means orphans and abandoned children in Haiti will also benefit from this album and tour. So, if you want to help children in Haiti and hear some uplifting Christian Rock, then give “Kings & Queens” a listen. At the very least, head to your favorite online music store and listen to the free samples.
For more on Audio Adrenaline, including their tour dates and where to buy their albums, check out http://www.audioa.com.