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Intersection of Life and Faith

A Burn or a Shiver

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 4 Apr
  • COMMENTS
A Burn or a Shiver
Sounds like … emo-flavored indie rock of Sleeping at Last, Denison Marrs, House of Heroes, and Lovedrug, with a hint of the jazz and reggae influences that characterize The Police and Mute MathAt a glance … you've heard bands similar to this before, but Edison Glass proves it's all in the execution with first-rate musicianship and songwriting that deftly balances artistry with ChristianityTrack Listing My Fair One Forever Starlight This House Today Has Wings Dear Honesty In Such a State Angelic in Heart Minutes for Memories The River You Mean the World to Me A Burn or a Shiver When All We Have Is Taken / Comfort

By combining the names of an artist and a Cuban revolutionary, Steve Taylor's band Chagall Guevara made a clever statement about their creative aspirations with their moniker. Edison Glass does the same by pairing a famed inventor with a minimalist composer. Together for seven years, this quartet from Long Island, New York is made up of music fanatics, inspired by everything from grunge and punk to classical and progressive.

Their national debut A Burn or a Shiver, produced by Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Sunny Day Real Estate), reflects this diverse zeal for quality music with a tight and focused sound. Delivering caffeinated guitar licks, bass riffs, and drum patterns with timepiece precision, their instrumental chops recall a modern day Rush or Yes ("Such a State"), the arrangements echoing the intricacies of The Police ("Forever") or The Mars Volta. Topped with Joshua Silverberg's strained tenor, it's a shame that Edison Glass hasn't made its mark sooner with other emo-influenced indie rock bands like House of Heroes, Sleeping at Last, and Lovedrug already on the scene. Yet while Edison Glass may not be completely innovative, their execution is stronger than most.

"This House" grabs the ear with its steady build and chant-along chorus, but even more remarkable is the band's balance of artistry with Christianity. Many bands can be too vague in their wording, leaving their spirituality "open to interpretation." This band, in contrast, makes clear reference to faith in virtually every song, without resorting to cliché, whether singing about surrender ("The River"), integrity ("Dear Honesty"), or marriage ("Angelic in Heart"). In fact, "Starlight" and "Today Has Wings" are downright worshipful in tone, expressing awe and gratefulness for the majesty of God's love and grace. Impressive considering that they're playing to secular and Christian audiences alike. One of the year's best new rock bands, Edison Glass proves you don't have to be too abstract or explicit to make an artful expression of Christianity.

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