KI's Take on Showbread's Newest

Kevin Ireland, the guest reviewer, is a youth pastor in New Jersey. He has a lovely wife and an adorable daughter. He is really into comic books, video games, and all things nerdy. His taste in music is pretty darn good and he showers weekly. Without further ado, Kevin (aka “Stinky”) presents to you Showbread’s newest, free-est, and darkest album yet!

Showbread, a four-piece raw-rock band out of Georgia that first caught my ear through their song “Dead by Dawn”, a song about the Evil Dead series. Who Can Know It is their new album, a free album paid for by super-fans ahead of time through Kickstarter (their tour in support of the album is also free to book and to attend.) and available for download from comeandlive.com.

Formerly a guitar-driven all out rock outfit, Showbread’s taken it in a new direction, more synth and piano and bigger melodies. It’s their sensitive ballad album and every band is entitled to that.

Showbread is creating their music in an odd space, bands made up of Christians with darker lyrics and themes that don’t fit a family-friendly model can find a hard road ahead of them. Who Can Know It is the best example of this problem, the Jesus per minutes are up and the music is a bit more accessible then in previous albums which ruffles some feathers but smooths others, but then the lyrics are just as dark and cutting as ever. The first track “A Man with a Hammer” seems to be laying it out all up front, stepping on as many toes as possible right out of the gate. It’s brutal, it’s violent and it’s graphic but spends it’s time singing about Jesus Christ. Easily offended by either aspect and you’re probably not going to be to interested in the rest of the album either because both of these themes run rampant.

All these themes have been explored by Showbread before, but they seem to come out with the gloves off on this album, no more wrapped in literature and old horror movies, it’s all laid out in the open for better or worse.

The album starts strong and finishes strong, but gets a little muddled in the middle. My favorite track on the album has to be “You’re Like a Taxi” a large sweeping diss track towards Death, someone who’s lost their sting and is now working a menial job. It all closes out with the excellent ten-minute epic “The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things” a deeply personal song of doubt, questions and faith.

Talking about Who Can Know It without just comparing it to Showbread’s previous outings is hard. It’s drastically different and many fans are going to be disappointed, but long-time fans know that if Showbread didn’t sound different every album they wouldn’t really be Showbread at all. Besides an intentional commitment to trying new things and moving on the line-up as changed drastically as well, from a seven-piece band down to four. If you’ve heard their previous albums you know there is usually a softer more reflective song near the end of every album, “Who Can Know It” is that kind of song (With “Myth of a Christian Nation” as the odd stand-out). If No Sir…, Age of Reptiles and The Fear of God are albums you throw on at a party, and Anorexia and Nervosa are best listened to in the dark by yourself with headphones on and a candle to read the lyrics by (I can’t be the only one who handled that album like Bastion from Neverending Story am I?), Who Can Know It is best saved for the quiet and reflective moments, the long lonely drives.

Who Can Know It is well worth the price of admission (free) and is definitely worth checking out and any band that thanks a comic book store in their liner notes is always worth supporting.

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~ by thepaintedman on November 22, 2010.

2 Responses to “KI's Take on Showbread's Newest”

  1. […] Kevin Ireland’s review on the new Showbread album then go henceforth and read what Josh Dies had to say when thepaintedman had the chance to chat […]

  2. […] (of Showbread) stated in his interview with me: I’m a teetotaler, I’ve never in my life had any sip of any […]

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