Soundtrack to a Revolution
- reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Nov
When grunge music was dying down and swing was starting up, the alternative music underground had another trick up its sleeve: Take a rock and roll base, cross it with a horn section, add a reggae tint—and call it "ska." To the Green Day generation, ska became the latest fad. In both mainstream and Christian circles, a slew of bands latched onto the sound (and the accompanying black-and-white checkerboard dress code), including The O.C. Supertones, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, Five Iron Frenzy—and Detroit's Insyderz. They went on to release four hit-producing albums, most notably their pair of
But like any modern wave of music, the ska sound was soon replaced with harder-driving rhythms and the nü-metal sound. Many of ska's key acts fell by the wayside, or—like Less Than Jake and the Supertones—modified their sound to stay up with the times. The Insyderz, meanwhile, just took some time off, focusing more on local ministry opportunities and starting families. It's been three years since then, but now the group has reunited for a new CD on Floodgate Records (owned by former manager Tim Tabor).
The ten songs on
On the downside, "Testimony" seeps with exaggerated horn arrangements and contrived cheerfulness, while "Chosen Few" is stuck in a time warp, sounding like the Bosstones'
Another downfall is the project's relatively short length; at 30 minutes, it's closer to an EP than a full project. In several instances (particularly "Call To Arms," "Soundtrack to a Revolution," and "Shoot Out"), the band could have jammed a bit longer, further building the fist-waving potential. A few additional cuts also would have helped—perhaps even a few worship tunes in the tradition of the
Despite being no better than they were before, The Insyderz still offer valuable assets to today's fans—despite a primary sound that was best received five years ago. It's clear these guys are at least attempting to remain relevant. It's hard to gauge if