Five Iron Frenzy
Until This Shakes Apart
“Yes, I think it is Christian music. In fact, there were people in the band that kept saying it wasn’t Christian enough—and we needed more overtly-Christian songs in there. I sent the lyrics back to them with at least 5 Bible verses that had inspired the lyrics! Here is the problem: the lyrics of this album challenge the politics of the Evangelical church. They are in line with the character of Christ—but I do believe that a lot of Christians will be horribly offended by that. I tried to speak the truth in love, but sometimes it just came out as angry.” —Reese Roper
Although some lyrics to Five Iron Frenzy’s first album since 2013’s Engine of a Million Plots challenge “the politics of the evangelical church,” as lead singer Reese Roper put it, it would be shortsighted to label this compelling new collection of songs as little more than a left-leaning political diatribe. Yes, this talented Denver band in part takes on the gun lobby with “Renegades” and various religious right positions on “While Supplies Last,” but there are also just as many enjoya-ble and enjoyably apolitical tracks on this group’s strong new release, as well.
While some of the album’s lyrics are not always ‘safe for the whole family’ (the A-word in “So We Sing” does not refer to a donkey, for example) everything included within is nevertheless smart and relevant. “One Heart Hypnosis,” for instance, highlights the dangers of our social media-ruled culture, while “Homelessly Devoted to You” uses humor to find joy in during even the direst fi-nancial circumstances. Although Five Iron Frenzy has been categorized a ska band (or the cool Christian ska alternative to OC Supertones), sonic styles here range from the reggae-driven “Bull-fighting for an Empty Ring,” to the punkish “Huerfano.”
Until This Shakes Apart may challenge your conservative political views in some places, but the church umbrella needs to be big enough to contain all policy perspectives, if it’s to be an effective agent for God’s kingdom. Five Iron Frenzy has always been the thinking person’s (mainly) ska band, so we should expect nothing less than this thoughtful musical analysis of our times. Yes, much of this music is politically motivated. However, upon close inspection, it’s simply so much more than just that.