Artist: Warr Acres
Title: Warr Acres
Label: Dream Records

When describing the maiden voyage of up-and-coming band Warr Acres, I feel strongly compelled to use the “box of chocolates” analogy. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Forrest Gump said it best when he mused, “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Albeit cliché, this best describes my sentiments concerning this creative, passionate, and delightfully unpredictable compilation of original songs. From subtle nuances to dynamic choruses, this pop-infused posse maintains a unified, yet multi-faceted sound. While attempting to categorize them as I listened, I soon realized that the diversity of their sound reflects the miscellany of their audience: today’s church.

Comprised of longtime friends Chris Crow, Jaron Nix, and Matt Payne, as well as Lael Louthan, Aubree Huffman and veteran vocalist and Dove Award nominee, Kristy Starling—all are part of the weekly worship experience at Victory Church in Oklahoma City, Okla. In fact, they take their name from the community where their church is situated and desire their band to be an extension of the ministry happening in their little part of the world.

The ensemble successfully cranks out a digitized, hip-hop/pop-infused, feel-good sound that mirrors the intensity of the lyrics they are singing. Both musically and lyrically, there is a sense of collective reaching, an urging, and pushing toward Jesus that is stirring. Did I mention that they sing their songs during worship services on Sunday mornings? These are not the melodies of our grandparents’ church-going era—but the creed of a digital generation of believers who are stubbornly holding on to truth in the midst of a subversive culture.

You see, I’m not talking about the cheap box of chocolates given to you by that “special someone” sporting acne and Chuck Taylors back in junior high. I mean rich. Just when you think you know what you’re getting from them, the more subdued and anthemic “Hymn of Remembrance” comes on, or a completely unexpected and delectable refrain that left me wanting more.

While there is room for growth and maturity as a band, this group definitely deserves a listen. In short—I like chocolate, but enjoyed Warr Acres even more.

Highlights: “You are Joy”, “Heaven Bound”, “Hold to This Truth” and “Our God Lives.”