- reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Nov
Alternative rockers April Sixth didn't start in a typical garage or basement setting like many of their peers. They first set up shop in the humble confines of a barn, and have since built up their following with some serious grassroots marketing and frontlines promotion. Aside from peddling stickers, buttons, and sampler CDs, these five guys frequently spread the word at other bands' shows throughout the Southwest. Out of all that hustling, the band met Hoobastank guitarist Dan Estrin, who liked what he heard, passing the disc on to famed producer Howard Benson (P.O.D. and Blindside, both comprised of Christian members). Benson saw April Sixth's promise, leading them to a contract with Elektra Records.
Their national debut EP
April Sixth's greatest strengths are in the lyrical department. They seem sensitive to teen needs, and are obviously unashamed of their faith. The emotionally explosive "Suicidal" addresses a messy break-up's adverse effects on one's self-esteem. The song provides a tension release and sounding board for those struggling with suicidal thoughts. The disc's most melodic rocker, "Come Set Free," also seems to focus on relationships, written from the perspective of someone looking to make amends for treating a partner poorly. Snaps screams "I never thought that I would be the one who sucked out all your energy/ So I'll take it upon myself to leave it upon me." In "Somewhere Waiting," the band gives its most overt statement of faith with lines like this: "And I want to live with Him/Be the one who will never die/And I say this that you'll save your soul/For the place I want to go when I die calls me even closer/The gates are open."
Though April Sixth may not be the most original or interesting band this year, its message is strong enough to make a lasting impact. Like fellow crossover acts P.O.D. and Blindside, April Sixth's Elektra Records deal should lead to opportunities beyond the Christian bubble, making them yet more "roaring lambs" of this musical generation. Following the tour behind this EP, the group is slated to return to the studio for a full-length project due in 2004. The time in between will hopefully give the members a chance to hone their chops and forge a more unique sound that will make the music just as timeless as the message.