12 Days of Giveaways - Spin & Win! Sign up before Dec. 25th to win daily prizes and a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card. Find out details.

Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Mar
Sounds like … the melodic hardcore rock of Living Sacrifice, Project 86, Linkin Park, Spoken, and StavesacreAt a glance … Staple offers better than average hardcore because of their lyrical smarts and their solid blend of melody with intensityTrack ListingDictatorship vs. Democracy (DVD)PopFists AfireThe SongwriterImpressionableRemember Sammy JankisFive Minutes StrongRise of the RobotsDeathtrap DaisyRed Brush Strokes Wave GoodbyeCrusader

To be completely honest, I'm not typically a fan of hardcore rock/metal—particularly with the homogenous sound and the incomprehensible shrieking. But with its self-titled debut, Staple distinguishes itself from the pack.

The quartet, which met at Rosedale Bible College, built a strong following in its home state of Ohio, playing almost 300 shows in the last two years. Citing Living Sacrifice and Project 86 as strong influences, Staple captures a similar intensity with their sound—and yet tempering their hardcore sound with melodic sensibilities. Lead vocalist Darin Keim is like a combination of Linkin Park's Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda—screaming, but also singing. The band balances its bombast with musicality, striving to make the words heard.

And that's definitely a good thing. The lyrics are poetic and meaningful, neither too abstract nor too obvious. "Dictatorship vs. Democracy" intensely explores the concept of free will in choosing God over sin, and "Pop" gives the Christian's side of the philosophical debate over absolute and relative truth. "Deathtrap Daisy" deals with the struggles of lust and pornography—a man's cry to God in his weakest moment—and "Impressionable" is almost completely melodic while eloquently expressing the struggle between desires of the spirit and flesh. The intriguingly titled "Red Brush Strokes Wave Goodbye" is a personal farewell to old sinful ways after new life in Christ.

"The Songwriter" and "Crusader" are a bit preachy, but Staple is not out of line in taking the Christian music business and the Church to task. Staple's strong debut offers proof that hardcore can be more than just loud—it can also be catchy, thought provoking, and challenging.