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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

In the Mean Time

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Sep
In the Mean Time
Sounds like … the melodic goth pop/metal? of Evanescence, as well as the hard-hitting modern rock of The Benjamin Gate and a louder version of PlumbAt a glance … though it sounds perhaps a little too derivative of Evanescence, this band handles the music well while offering more forthright examples of their Christian beliefsTrack ListingFadingBreatheIn the Mean TimeZionLet It GoDon't Wanna BeKnow YouPassionDaisy ChainEvery MomentLie to Yourself

Hard to believe it's been nearly two years since Evanescence exploded onto the music scene, only to end up in that whole fiasco about whether or not they're really a "Christian band." Since it's been more or less established that they are not, many have since wondered if there's a "Christian equivalent" of Evanescence.

Some have suggested BarlowGirl, but their style more closely leans to the chick rock of Superchic[k]. A far better fit is Gretchen, a Nashville-based trio fronted by vocalist/bassist Mia Richards with her husband Dave Richards on guitar and Stephen Robinson on drums. Taking their name from the spiritually derived King's X album Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, they first introduced themselves with their charmingly titled 2002 debut, Mouth Full of Nails.

It's their follow-up In the Mean Time, strongly produced by Travis Wyrick (Pillar, tobyMac) that will especially appeal to fans of that once unique blend of hard-hitting rock and metal, accessible pop melodies, and goth undertones. Opening song "Fading" in particular sounds very similar to "Going Under" and "Bring Me to Life." Dramatic metal ballads like "Know You" and "Every Moment" come close to the elegant bombast of "My Immortal." Elsewhere, "Passion" makes it sound as if The Benjamin Gate never called it quits, and the aggressive delivery of "Don't Wanna Be" borders on speed-metal.

Potent stuff, but the only flaw with Gretchen is that they come off a bit too much like a Christian music knock-off of Evanescence, as opposed to an original band that happens to rock with the same passion and intensity. Still, it's awfully close—and at least in this case, we can say with confidence that it's truly inspired by Christian beliefs.