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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Stand Up

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Sep
Stand Up
Sounds like … acoustic-based alternative pop/rock influenced by Jars of Clay, dc Talk, and Audio AdrenalineAt a Glance … Everyday Sunday is a brand new group many will catch on this year's Festival Con Dios tour. Their debut is sometimes resourceful and charming, and other times banal and ordinary.

Remember the Marianne Faithful standard "Monday, Monday"? How about the '80s band 'Til Tuesday, the Canadian rockers The Wednesdays, and the emo kings simply named Thursday? And who could forget The Cure's "Friday I'm In Love," the movie soundtrack Saturday Night Fever, and U2's timeless "Sunday Bloody Sunday"? Speaking of musical references revolving around the calendar, there was even a song released by Stone Temple Pilots called "Days of the Week" and a band named Seven Day Jesus. The latest addition to this growing roster of songs/bands with names of days in their title is a group called Everyday Sunday, whose name calls to mind the truth that the Lord's day isn't the only day we should dedicate to him. As a result, the group bases their music around applicable themes and guidelines as to how we should serve the Lord and one another throughout every moment of our lives.

Group members Trey Pearson (vocals), Andrew Martin (guitar), Dan Hunter (bass), and Chris Hines (drums) were first inspired by the likes of Audio Adrenaline, Jars of Clay, and dc Talk to maintain such spiritual standards, and eventually their own practical songs of faith. After spending time writing and recording their independent debut, Sleeper, in 2001 (featuring the hit single "Just a Story"), Everyday Sunday hit the touring trail, opening for the likes of All Star United, Pax 217, Earthsuit, Plumb, and Skillet. Making the rounds with such nationally recognized bands attracted the attention of Flicker Records, who soon discovered Everyday Sunday could relate to any audience put in front of them. Their latest release, Stand Up, is a result of those Flicker sessions, during which the band mixed the relevant themes fans already have identified with in their songs with acoustic and electric rock beats, at times emphasized by orchestration.

Standouts on the more amplified side include "Lose It Again" and "This Time," both of which are somewhat reminiscent of Bleach or Send the Beggar. "Wait" is the group's most explosive rendering, with dc Talk's "Jesus Freak" and Audio Adrenaline's "We're a Band" serving as likely muses. Middle ground tunes include the Shaded Red-meets-Polarboy guitar swirls of "Don't Leave," the pleading distortion of "Live For You Tonight," and the orchestral ballad about perseverance called "Hanging On." The latter is crafted across a lush, ethereal tapestry one might find on the latest albums from Coldplay or The Promise Ring and serves as the disc's most moving cut. From its opening acoustic intimacies through its electric thunderbolts and chilling string interludes, "Hanging On" hits home.

On the flipside, there are a few moments when such inventiveness is overshadowed by the typical Christian rock doldrums longtime followers of that musical circle have come to expect. The album's lead single and title track has the exact AC/CHR-meets-acoustic-coffeehouse vibe and the same youth-group-friendly lyrical structure as just about any other acoustic-based band played on that radio format these days. "Mess With Your Mind" reminds me of overplayed ditties such as Seven Day Jesus' "Butterfly" or Bleach's "Super Good Feeling." Lyrically, it's simply a repeat of the vague catch phrase: "I'll try not to mess with your mind / I'll try not to give you everything you every wanted / I'll try not to mess with your mind / I'll try not to give you everything you could have been."

Having a mix between honest-to-goodness gems and a few tunes that aren't as strong shows that Everyday Sunday is certainly on the right track, but also has a bit of room to grow. Chances are good that hitting a round of fall dates with the diverse Festival Con Dios line-up (ironically including influences Audio Adrenaline and Toby Mac of dc Talk, along with Mercy Me, Out of Eden, The Benjamin Gate, and others) will expand their horizons and inspire additional creative sparks. The band certainly is looking forward to that possibility, as well as connecting with new audiences along the way. "The most rewarding part of being in this band is getting to see the effect our music has on people," summarizes Hunter. "It really shows us that we are doing something more than just making music, and that there is so much more to our future than we can dream up ourselves."