The shoWdoWn Blood in the gears (Solid State Records) FOR FANS OF: Underoath, Metallica, Norma Jean QQQ With just as much affinity for old school metal in its shred-heavy prime as the modern hardcore movement, The Showdown does a generally successful job pleasing retro and new school audiences on its latest CD. Though some of the lyrics are difficult to decipher, there’s no question that the group stands for core Christian values, couched in backbreaking guitars, gripping percussion and militant screams, likely to provide a jolt to anyone experiencing complacency. –Andy Argyrakis WE LIKE: “Heavy Lies the Crown” ed koWalCzyk alive (Soul Whisper Records) FOR FANS OF: Live, Collective Soul, Seven Mary Three QQQ Spiritual threads were always interwoven throughout Live’s impressive discography, especially on songs like “Heaven” and “They Stood Up For Love.” Here on Alive, front man Ed Kowalczyk’s solo debut, such notions are front and center. Kowalczyk sings of turning over control of his life on “Drive” and keeping the faith on “Stand,” all alt-rock tunes that would feel at home on later Live releases like Birds of Pray. –Matt Conner WE LIKE: “Drive” Chris auGusT no far away (Word) FOR FANS OF: Mat Kearney, John Mayer, Bebo Norman QQQQ He signed a secular record deal and toured as a member of Ashlee Simpson’s band, but at the end of the day, Chris August’s heart landed in Christian music. As a result, his debut disc comes with all the polish and perfection of a seasoned veteran, while his songwriting evokes a meditative sophistication, especially noted on the forgiveness-laden “7x70,” the contemporary blues-tipped “Battle” and the personal quest for soul-bearing authenticity “Want To Be Real.” –Andy Argyrakis WE LIKE: “7x70” roCk revieWs All release dates and album titles are subject to change. For the most up-to-date release schedule, visit www.CCMmagazine.com/music/upcoming_ releases. roCk neW releases 08.03.2010 HOUSE OF HEROES suBurBa (GOTEE RECORDS/WORD) 08.10.2010 STARFLYER 59 The Changing Of The gOspel (TOOTH AnD nAIL/EMICMG) 08.24.2010 THE SHOWDOWn BlOOD On The gears (SOLID STATE RECORDS/ EMICMG) PRESS PLAY ny2la (UnIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP/ EMICMG) roCk 46 CCM