Some bands are just cool. The Benjamin Gate falls into this category.

Put the band's newly released Contact in your CD player, and you'll quickly agree. Surging guitars and Adrienne Liesching's emphatic vocals make Lift Me Up one of the more energetic leadoff tracks of any CCM release this year.

If there's anything more surprising than an opening track that grabs you by the throat, it's an equally strong second track. Contact delivers with This Is Not, which pushes into ska/punk territory.

Just when the listener needs to catch his breath, Contact offers The Calling, the CD's most accessible track, before grinding out the anthemic Do What You Say, a piercing rendition of Colin Hay's melodic Overkill, and the penetrating Need, a reminder to give our all to Jesus, regardless of our circumstances.

And that's just the first half of the CD. Thankfully, the second half of Contact is just as strong.

For its second Forefront release The Benjamin Gate retains Quinlan, the producer from its first effort, with Charlie Peacock and David Bach lending a hand as executive producers. Through it all, it's Liesching's vocals -- similar to Bjork, minus the heavy accent -- that give The Benjamin Gate its trademark sound and look.

With their unassuming but hip image and polished alternative rock, it shouldn't be long before young American lads and lasses are playing air guitar and lip-synching to The Benjamin Gate's Contact.