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Become What You Believe

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Aug
Become What You Believe
Sounds like … the punk rock style of Blink 182, MxPx, Sum 41, and Eleventyseven with some of the hard rock sensibilities of Foo Fighters or Squad Five-OAt a glance … with a thoughtful mix of riffs and ideas, Last Tuesday continue to prove themselves a skillful punk band capable of breaking from tired radio-friendly conventions, rote performances, and clichéd messagesTrack Listing Become What You Believe This Is the Way 1999 Deal With It Carry On Wake Me Up Can You Hear Me? The Stand Giving Up My Last Regret

Another formulaic punk album? Not so fast. Since their 2001 debut, Last Tuesday has worked hard to stand out from the rote pack of sound-alike. Become What You Believe, the Pennsylvania band's fifth recording, is no different.

For starters, they know better than to rehash the same predictable riffs over and over. Not as crisp as 2005's Resolve, the album was intentionally made to sound more raw and reminiscent of Last Tuesday's live show. The songs still remain in the melodic punk vein without catering to pop-friendly clichés, occasionally mixing in some metal. So while the title track and "Carry On" are straight ahead modern punk, "Can You Hear Me?" is distinguished by a more raucous shout-along chorus, "My Last Regret" dabbles with hardcore, and "Wake Me Up" even flirts a bit with some rockabilly. There's also a great cover of The Alarm's classic "The Stand," adapting it to punk while staying true to the original's anthemic chorus.

It's also refreshing to hear a punk band more interested in keeping it real than delivering everything with a wink and a long, clever song title. "1999" isn't a cover of Prince, but refers to the band's worries since starting out, and the title track shares their struggles to keep celebrity honorable—"But when we stand before the Son of Man/Will we hang our heads, will he understand?/When it's all been said and done, was our race well run?" They also thoughtfully address topics of living purposefully ("My Last Regret"), encouraging a relationship with Jesus out of friendship instead of fear ("Deal With It"), and not forcing our beliefs on others ("Can You Hear Me?").

Thus, Last Tuesday succeeds in demonstrating how to better represent Jesus to the world—by building relationships, not carrying grudges ("Giving Up"). And they do so with music that's faithful not to tired radio-friendly conventions, but rather the rowdy, passionate spirit of punk.

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