GUARDIAN - BOTTLE ROCKET (*NEW-CD, 1997, Myrrh)
After being a pop-metal outfit in the early 90's, the changing music scene encouraged Guardian to try some different things stylistically. "Swing, Swang, Swung" was more acoustically based, but "Buzz" brought the boys back to their hard-rock roots. As different as "Swing, Swang, Swung" was from "Miracle Mile" and as "Buzz" was from "Swing, Swang, Swung", so is "Bottle Rocket" different everything else Guardian has done. The focus centers on a more modern rock sound, complete with bass and guitar effects, that works very well.
The lead-off track, "Are We Feeling Comfortable Yet?" exhibits the new sound with some interesting guitar-synth sounds and David Bach's bass, also mixed in with some synthesizer, setting the foreshadowing of a rock explosion. The ever present lead-guitar of Tony Palacios blazes into his patented playing while Karl Ney lays down a strong pace on his drum kit. Jamie Rowe demonstrates he can sing well outside the reigns of heavy metal.
Without critiqueing all 14 songs, suffice it to say that the recording demonstrates the desired tightness of a well rehearsed band. The lyrics showcase Steve Taylor's creative genius with the American vernacular, and the theme of the CD points to God and salvation through Jesus Christ. Some songs may seem silly ("Bottle Rocket" & "Coffee Can"), but pay attention to the message in the humor. Sarcasm and wit can be excellent vehicles for carrying the message to the listener.
Are We Feeling Comfortable Yet?
What Does It Take?
Blue Light Special
Break Me Down
The Water Is Fine
My Queen Esther
Hell To Pay
Fear The Auctioneer
Harder Than It Seems