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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Summer Fade

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jun
Summer Fade
Sounds like … the raspy, post-grunge metal pop of bands like Nickelback, Creed, Lifehouse, and Day of Fire with hints of Matchbox Twenty and Collective SoulAt a glance … Radial Angel still performs their neo-grunge well, but with less spiritually focused lyrics, they continue to fall short of distinguishing themselves from other similar sounding actsTrack ListingNot BeautifulSummer FadeFallingSuddenly MaybeTake Control

Radial Angel, an independent act since 1999, was one of those miss-them-if-you-blink bands on Word/Warner in 2003. Debuting nationally with One More Last Time, they showed promise with the moderate success of "She" and "Your Name" on Christian radio. Then Radial Angel was abruptly dropped in late 2003 because of restructuring at Word. According to the band's site, the label didn't renew any of their rock bands' contract at the time, though they have since taken on Building 429 and Mute Math.

Radial Angel lives on independently with hopeful signs of a new deal stemming from the release of Summer Fade, a limited edition 17-minute EP. The band has reportedly attracted mainstream label attention, fueled by the modest radio attention of "Not Beautiful." The overall sound is rawer and a little less polished than One More Last Time, without sacrificing the strongly performed heavy rock sound, giving the band a little more indie rock credibility. The guitars are a dynamic blast, and lead vocalist Jared Taber belts out a rasp as well as Gavin Rossdale (Bush) and Jason Wade (Lifehouse).

However, there isn't enough here to distinguish Radial Angel from the abundance of similar styled bands today, and neo-grunge metal is growing more tired with each passing month. It also doesn't help that the band is focusing on more generalized lyrics primarily dealing with broken romantic relationships. Only one of the five tracks, the Matchbox Twenty-meets-Bush sounding "Take Control," offers a testament to God's peace and authority in our lives: "You take control/You take my soul/God you make everything alright." Radial Angel does well with this genre, but so do a slew of other acts. Recording contract or not, they need to become more distinct to get to the next level.

(Summer Fade is available exclusively at www.radialangel.com.)