Every year seems to result in a new radio rock band or three emerging onto the Christian scene. The latest such band to do so is Samestate, a band that’s been generating a lot of buzz and getting a lot of spots at prominent Christian music festivals before most of the general public has heard of them. They recently released an EP that serves as a four-song preview to February 28, 2012′s The Alignment, their full-length, label debut.
Music snobs would probably be quick to dismiss this band, and for awhile frankly I was guilty of this. However, when the CCM Singles twitter account publicized the release of the music video for “Hurricane,” my curiousity finally got the best of me. What I found was not overtly groundbreaking, yet still quite enjoyable.
When the holidays roll around, my music habits tend to shift toward the more pensive end of the spectrum. Perhaps because I get nostalgic and tend to want to recreate old memories related to this time of year, or maybe its the seasonal mood change that the impending winter brings. For whatever reason, listening to “Hurricane” brought forth that emotion within me that made me want to hear it again and again. There’s something familiar, yet new about this song. This mood continues with “Wake Me Up” but unfortunately diminishes with “Not Your Fight,” which sounds the same as about any other popular Christian radio worship song, and would fit right in with MercyMe and Chris Tomlin musically. “Shadows” ends things on a higher note, bringing us back to that fresh version of radio rock “Hurricane” started things off with.
Lyrically, Samestate genuinely just wants to glorify the Lord and His attributes. “Hurricane” takes a fresh approach to a cliche worship metaphor, addressing the difficulty humans sometimes have understanding grace. “Wake Me Up” is a call to wake up to the Grace we are made to embrace, with such lyrics as “Are we sleeping in the middle of daylight? Is a heart-light flickering? ‘Cause we are made for something more than this life and the trouble that it brings.” The latter two tracks continue the pattern rehashing old themes of worship in fresh ways, although perhaps “rehash” is too harsh of a term. After all, isn’t worship about worship about thanking God for who He is over and over?
Samestate is not trying to be the next Switchfoot, Needtobreathe or Anberlin but what they do they do well. Sometimes one just wants to meditate on the goodness of the Lord in worship without picking apart intricately structured opuses. I will be curious to see how well The Alignment builds upon this release