by Paul Landkamer
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Author requests article critique
Today, I got a MySpace friend request from a band called Makeshift3. I scanned their profile like I usually do, and concluded it was a Christian band and their presence on my friends list wouldn't bring shame, or be difficult for me to answer why they were there. Then I noticed they also sent me a message, so I went to my in-box to check it out.
With the friend request, they asked if I could recommend any good Christian rock bands. I made some recommendations, and they sent me another message. They asked how I liked their sound, and it I thought they were good enough to tour with big-name bands. I answered that, and they sent me yet another message. They asked me what I thought about their MySpace page, and why someone like me wouldn't order their CD. These guys were pretty persistent.
I'm going to answer all their questions (at least the ones they've posed to me thus far) here for all the world to see!
Yeah, I recommended some bands. I know I mentioned Brian Welch and SHEL, but don't remember if I mentioned any others. Their sound is a very interesting blend of punk, metal, and a bit of screamo, but not enough for me to roll my eyes and think, "Yeah, whatever. I guess they minister to someone, but I'm certainly not in their target audience." Their vocals remind me quite a bit of Hawk Nelson or Relient K. I like 'em. And yes, I think they are fully good enough to tour with the big names. They're good enough for others to tour with them, too.
On their MySpace page, right from the beginning, they don't come across as your average punk band. They don't look like a typical metal or rock band either. These guys actually look happy --none of that angry or put-on tough look. They come across as fun and real people. The album title is pretty catchy, too: "Fluorescent Black". I keep trying to visualize that.
Scrolling down the page, it jumps right out that Makeshift3 isn't scared of being called "Christian". They go on to explain their take on the Christian label in their blog, "Ministry Statements & Lyrics."
I like the layout of the page, too. It's pretty much the basic MySpace layout. They don't use lots of cluttered background graphics, which makes the page really easy to figure out. They're also not shy about wanting to sell merchandise.
There are lots of people who get upset at a Christian band wanting to sell stuff. A band needs money to tour. It needs money to produce CDs, which, in turn will help spread their message. Money helps encourage the band to continue. Now, are they in music ministry for the purpose of making money? I seriously doubt it, or they'd charge a lot more than the mere $4.99 for a CD. And these aren't little EPs, they're full-length albums. I checked the numbers of songs on a few of them, and saw 13 to 16 songs on the CDs.
Another nice thing about their MySpace site is that they post the lyrics to their songs for folks like me who can't always make out the words the first couple times. The songs were mostly understandable without reading along.
They also asked me which song was my favorite. I listened to the whole playlist they provided...
...and "Locked Inside a Cell" and "A Good Day Under Glass" caught my ear with their heavier instrumentals. I then compared the lyrics and concluded that "A Good Day Under Glass" is my favorite. The musical line-up was pretty intense. I didn't hear any token chick-flicky ballady song in their whole listening sampler.
And then they asked why a guy like me wouldn't buy their CD. I don't like that question. I plan to buy my own copy of "Fluorescent Black" and possibly more in the future.
Check these guys out. If you're at all into rock, punk or metal, I'm sure you'll hear something in their sound that will appeal to you.
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