The End is Where We Begin

TFK, The End is Where We Begin Revisited

Linda | October 16, 2017

Thousand Foot Krutch’s 2012 release has been stuck in my car CD player for five years! This concept album takes us on a journey through our faith as Christians. It starts out with a Darth Vader type voice drawing  you in with these words “You have activated all systems, deactivation is not an option. If you don’t stand for something, you might fall for anything.” and ends with a similar message to take with you. The title song brings us back to our life apart from God where all our dreams collapse and leave us brokenhearted. The end is sometimes that same place that we find ourselves having tried it a second or third time and falling back in that pit of disappointment and brokenness. Again we run away from the mess that we have made of our lives and then we begin.

Where we begin is recognizing that we are aliens, not of this world but living in it, having been lost, misunderstood. Becoming traitors to our own faulty reasoning and distorted dreams we begin to live as changed people, our broken hearts mending and like angels singing with a million voices we are overcome with the joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ personally where it all began. If we find ourselves repeating the cycle once again we crawl back to the end of our own rope and again we begin. We begin to live as who we really are, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, royalty. I don’t listen to CD’s much anymore and the only one I listen to in the car is this one. I never get tired of it! If you haven’t engaged with this album, I recommend that you take the journey.

Linda Fau


With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Branding Music

Linda | October 7, 2017

Is branding a vital element to surviving in the music industry? When you think of a band, Skillet, for instance, what images come to mind? My mind envisions Skillet as industry professionals, well produced, always entertaining, declaring faith, exploring life’s ups and downs. The band is well recognized in mainstream rock/metal and the Christian music scene. They are polished and confident. These images are the components of branding. Think of your favorite bands. What comes to mind? Does the thought of them bring the “personality” of the band to mind? Should it?

Some may feel that a band should first and foremost concentrate on producing the best music possible. This could be the case but are all bands tied to this being their number one priority? What if they have another purpose for their music besides just the music. Is that OK? Portraying an image to the public can connect a band them with the fans that would appreciate them. Some may think that sharing the gospel and faith based ministry is number one in priority when it comes to Christians that make music. Do you think so?

The fact is, bands, if they were to pin down a mission statement, have different ones. Branding is what reveals the heart of a band to their audiences and attracts fans that identify with them and appreciate their music. Without strong branding, building a fan base can be more difficult. A well thought out brand strategy personifies a band to it’s fans. There is always the danger of overdoing it and coming across as too commercial as if you are selling yourself to the public. Commercialism in branding is not what works but a genuine face of the band revealing what drives them is.

Starting a career in marketing, branding is on my mind a lot. I listened to a New Release Today live show recently entitled  A New Paradigm for Christian Music with Keven and Marcus that got me thinking about this more. They discussed a variety of topics, the emphasis in Christian music by lots of bands these days on worship, bands that devote themselves to a cause like Remedy Drive’s connection with The Exodus Road and a general discussion of the shift of music produced by Christians. This spurred my thinking in the direction of the importance of having an image in mind that identifies yourself as a band to the public. Let’s face it, bands want to be successful and this means music, concert ticket and merchandise sales. They also want to connect with people, increase their fanbase and draw support for the causes that are important to them. Branding can be such an effective way to do this.

When creating a brand, musicians should guard against being a shell that looks amazing on the outside but lacks heart. People like to sense depth to the bands they follow. A shallow band may not keep their fans interested, neither can one that is too predictable. We like a little variation in our music and the presentation of it. Thimblerigsark writes in his article entitled, “Branding the Christian Faith” “I personally know a few Christian musicians and songwriters, and they are – without a doubt – talented people.  In fact, the ones I know have more talent in their little toe than I have in my entire body.  And yet, popular Christian family-friendly music, the kind you hear on our radio stations, arguably the most visible (audible?) part of the Christian brand, is just… bland. Uninteresting.  Predictable.  Over-produced.  Safe. And those are not words that I would use to describe the Christian faith.” I have felt the same thing. I will listen to mainstream Christian radio from time to time and with the exception of a few songs that are really well done, they underwhelm me.  Is it because the music’s message is too safe or the same familiar message that is heard over and over to the point where it just doesn’t hold your attention? Maybe it’s just that some people like repetition in their music and others don’t. Obviously pop music or mainstream Christian Contemporary musicians sells lots of music so this kind of music has a market. It’s just not for everyone and seems to dominate the airwaves.

Depth in a band’s lyrics may touch those areas of humanity that are not as safe, like human trafficking, suicide or substance abuse. Music that touches on our life experiences are not always safe and may not have a widespread appeal but will attract those who are touched by the message or can identify with the subject matter. Identifying with people walking down particular walks of life can bring a sense that they are not alone and that there is hope, which can be instrumental in healing. Making this known in their branding, even Christian bands can seem dark and maybe go against the nerve of some believers, but God has a different mission for everyone. Jesus reached those in the shadows when he hung out with the tax collectors, prostitutes and those who found themselves in dark places. John 1:5 says, “ The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

There are those bands that bring the light in smaller doses because not everyone is ready to be flooded with light. Light is what we want for humanity as well as hope and a future. There are those Christians in bands that don’t choose to brand themselves as “Christian”. They may hope to appeal to a wider audience bringing music that may not be overtly Christian but is for everyone. Just like David played the harp for Saul simply to cheer him up and relieve stress, there are those bands that are just fun and get the audience involved. Family Force Five has been criticized for this but I find that I have such a great time at their concerts, its pure fun and games. What can be wrong with that? Some music may not have a real message and could just be silliness that makes us laugh or dance (Chain Saw) and feel like life is worth living.  Some people aren’t looking for meaningful music but just the fun stuff.  Family Force 5 brands themselves as just that,  fun, party music. This has been their claim to fame and success in the industry.

Branding is a valuable tool for bands and musicians. Projecting an identity and connecting with fans is an important element in success. Musicians should guard against being over marketed without delivering in their product, the music. Ensuring that the music really is what it claims to be is crucial. Albums that don’t live up to the hype, being well promoted but lacking quality can really disappoint fans. This is detrimental to a band. Whether promoting the latest album, an upcoming concert tour or an event or cause, well-done promotional material with strong branding sends a clear message that helps fans to engage. Thoughtful planning in the area of branding and marketing is a huge component in the success of musicians in today’s music industry.




Linda Fau


With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Creation Northeast HM Stage

Creation NE HM Stage, June 28

Linda | June 27, 2017

Creation 2017 is upon us. The HM Stage is about to be fired up on Wednesday, June 28th.   Introducing some of the bands that will bring us those incredible moments that will rock our world.

Earth Groans, a South Dakota based hardcore band brings aggressive vocals and organized dissonance, as they put it. “No one whispers about something they are passionate about” according to Jeremy, front man for the band. Starting out in 2015, the band is hardworking and has built a following by touring right out of the gate. The bands passion is to bring hope to people and connect with the heart of their fans. The band opens the HM stage at 8:35 pm

“The meaning behind “The Death In Me“: Die to yourself so you can bring life to others. This hardcore band is out of Raleigh, North Carolina brings music with a message of love, forgiveness and redemption through Jesus Christ and . They categorize themselves in the genres of Melodic Metalcore, Chaotic Hardcore. I love the combo (melodic and chaotic)! You can catch them on the HM Stage at 9:15 pm.

Convictions, a metalcore band from Ohio classifies their music as”aggressive worship”. Realizing the struggles we all face, they touch topics that may be beyond the norm, touching a nerve here and there. Their live shows are captivating and draw you in with emotion and passion. This is going to be an incredible show starting at 9:55 pm.

Comrades is a post rock, post hardcore band from Richmond, Virginia started back in 2008. Listed under the genres of post-hardcore, christian punk, screamo and emo. The band consists of husband and wife, Laura McElroy doing clean vocals and playing bass, Joe McElroy on lead guitar and Ben Trussel on drums and unclean vocals. They start at 10:35 pm.

To Speak of Wolves will close out the HM Stage starting at 11:30 pm on Wednesday night. They are from Greensboro, North Carolina that started back in 2007 and made a comeback in 2016. They are considered metalcore, posthardcore.

And there is the first night of Creation 2017’s HM stage.

Linda Fau


With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Creation Festival, Creation 2017, Creation NE

Creation NE Main Stage, June 28

Linda | June 26, 2017

Creation 2017 is upon us. The Main Stage is about to be fired up on Wednesday, June 28th. Introducing some of the bands that will bring us those incredible musical moments that we will long remember.

Starting at the main stage at 4:25 pm,  Written in Kings, from the UK will break in Creation 17. The band states that they“strive to change the atmosphere wherever they are.”  Everything WIK strives for is excellence, whether it is in live performance or recorded music, the hope is that it will change your world, even if just for a moment. Captured in the moment with Written in Kings rocking our world sounds like a great way to start the festival.

Next to hit the stage at 5:00 pm will be Jordan Copas. Jordan is a rapper with a calling from God that brought him through difficult years. God is using him, an unlikely candidate (like the rest of us) being used to reach people for God’s glory.

What started out as a one night worship gathering featuring what was then called “Solomon’s Porch” in 2008 at Calvary Chapel in Carson City, Nevada has brought us the super talented band now called “I Am They” begins at 5:50 pm. They have been categorized in the genres of worship, Christian rock, pop, country, folk rock, pop and country pop but whatever genre you put them in, this will be a beautiful, inspirational and worshipful concert under the stars. This will set the audience up in the attitude of worship to sing our hearts out to the Lord in the worship time led by Sorensen.

Bread of Stone is set to hit the stage at 8:30 pm. The band was established in 2004 with music that includes pop, rock and praise. Ben and Bill Kristijanto, followed their father’s advice when he shared with them that he felt the brothers had a calling to music ministry. “We have never set out to make a statement of ourselves as artist,” said Bill Kristijanto, “We are able to do so only through God’s grace.” The band released their 5th album, Hold the Light in 2016. This Bread of Stone video features with their single, The Change features Beacon Light.

The closing performance at 9:50 pm is the one and only Crowder.  What an amazing collection of music this talented artist has given us. He is passionate about his Jesus and ours. His songs are injected with faith in God, worshipful, inspirational, and can break into a hoe-down at any time. He is classified in the genres of contemporary Christian, worship and folktronica.  His former band “The David Crowder Band” formed in 1996  It disbanded in 2012. Crowder’s songs permeate the Christian music airwaves. His most recent album is called “American Prodigal“.

This will wrap up the first night of Creation NE, Main Stage.

Linda Fau


With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

5 Band’s T-Shirts You Have to Check Out

Linda | May 10, 2017

The summer’s fast approaching it’s time to start shopping for t-shirts. Band shirts and merch are such a cool way to express your musical side and expose everyone you meet to your fav bands. They can be the most expressive fashion statement out there. Bold statements, splashes of color, interesting graphics, trendy subject matter or symbols can give a T-shirt that edge that gets attention. Here a few T-shirts we think you have to check out! There are tons of others, to be sure.  Have fun T-Shirt shopping!

Disciple Merch Shop



Skillet Brand New Merch Shop

Thousand Foot Krutch Merch Shop

Islander Merch Shop                                                                                                                                                                         

 Manafest Merch Store

Linda Fau


With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

The Letter Black

Linda | May 1, 2017

Exciting news for The Letter Black fans. The band is releasing their heavier rock/metal album, Pain in May. Their last album, Rebuild was released back in 2013 so it’s been a while, creating a great excitement from their fans for new music from them. In recent live streaming, Q & A’s the band members have stated that they have discovered they were meant to carry a heavier sound. Sara Anthony enjoys screaming and has incorporated more of it into this album. Mark Anthony, on the other hand, revealed that he doesn’t really enjoy doing vocals so is focusing more on guitar this time around. To get you ready for the new album, we will take a little journey down The Letter Black’s music memory lane.

The Letter Black was formerly known as Breaking the Silence and started in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 2006. The band consists of Sarah (vocals) and Mark Anthony (guitar), who are married, Matt Beal (bass) and Justin Brown (drums). They are classified in the genres of rock, hard rock, alternative metal, post-grunge and nu-metal. Many of their earlier songs reflect the feelings they had as a result of being hurt by people in their church. You can experience the feelings of working through bad relationships with people and coming out on the side of forgiveness, yet a severing of ties with those that did damage in their lives. Former members of the band were Adam DeFrank, Keith Anselmo and Matt Slagle. Although they raised money for their upcoming album on Kickstarter, they have signed with

Although they raised money for their upcoming album on Kickstarter, they have signed with EMP Music Group to help with release and marketing of the album after talking to  (Megadeth bassist) David Ellefson and Thom Hazaert of EMP LABEL GROUP.


2007, Stand, Independent

2010, Hanging on By a Thread, Tooth & Nail Records

2013, Rebuild, Tooth & Nail Records

2017, Pain, EMP Music Group/Kickstarter


2009, Breaking the Silence

2011, Hanging on by a Thread, Sessions Volume 1

2011, Hanging on by a Thread, Sessions Volume 2

STAND – 2007


REBUILD – 2013


In stores May 21, 2017, Preorder



Linda Fau


With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Running with Giants

Linda | April 1, 2017

What you think of when you think of giants? Huge, frightening, bullylike, loud, obnoxious, arrogant, paralyzing, these are some words that I think of. Of course, the biblical Goliath comes to mind and David’s encounter with him. On the other hand, there is “standing on the shoulders of giants”. These are pillars of the faith like Mose, Abraham, the apostle Paul, C.S. Lewis, Bonhoeffer, Tozer, and so many others that have had a huge impact for Christ. We admire their courage and strong faith. The song Running with Giants by Thousand Foot Krutch brings lots of thoughts to mind.

In a Loudwire exclusive, Frontman Trevor McNevan says of the single, “This song is about faith & trust, and staring our fears right in the face and saying, ‘No more. You have no shelter here.’” I like that! FDR said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. There are dangers in this life that should be avoided and can cause problems. We do have to be wise with our risk-taking and adventures and not engage in foolish, destructive behavior. We have to remember the perils that are out there, but God has us here for a reason. As believers, I highly doubt that he wants us to play it safe. There is a whole world out there that needs to know the love of Christ and they are not always welcoming.

“Running with giants everywhere I go, It’s an unspoken alliance so I can just let go.”

When we band together to accomplish our mission for Christ, in prayer, in power, and in love, we are mighty.  No bullying giant can stop us whether internal (fear, emotions, pain, depression, etc) or external (Christ haters, government, etc) With the apostle Paul as our example, it is clear that we can railroad through every obstacle if we are moving in the will of God until the day he takes us home. Will we trip over stray debris on the journey? Yes. Will we hit road blocks that seem immovable? Yes. Will we feel like God has left us at times? Probably. Can we lift each other up when we hit those valleys? YES!

Let’s do this! Let’s make Jesus famous no matter what the cost. The world should know what an awesome, amazing, out of this world, loving, merciful Savior he is. If we don’t tell them, who will? Romans 10:4 in the Bible says, “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” There it is. This is our call to action.

So when the giants in your life have got you in a stronghold, remember TFK’s song, Running with Giants. We can stand on the shoulders of the good giants, pillars of the faith that have gone before us and made their mark on the world for Christ.

“And I feel the pressure of ten men
When the floor cracks and the walls start moving in
I feel the strength that’s from within
Kickin’ down the doors and walls
We’re coming in”

Ask your friends to pray, support you and lift you up while you’re weak. That’s why it’s so important for the church to bind together. We are strong when we come together and we can kick those doors and walls right out of the way. We are giant for Christ when we let him work through us. Are you with me?



Linda Fau


With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Garage Bands of the 60’s

Linda | March 17, 2017

“The ocean sounds like a garage band coming at me like a drunk man”. Have you heard that lyric from Switchfoot’s song “Vice Verses”. What is a garage band?  You would naturally think of it as an amateur band practicing in a garage with a loud, raw kind of rocking sound. In the 1960’s garage bands actually were considered a separate music genre. It was sort of an early form of punk rock. The Crusaders were a Christian garage band originally called Freddy and the Fanatics. The band changed their name to The Crusaders and signed with Tower Records in 1966. The band’s debut single was called “The Little Drummer Boy” backed with “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.  Their debut album was called “Make a Joyful Noise with Drums and Guitar”. The song “Praise Ye The Lord” had one of the heaviest garage sounds for its time. Learn more about The Crusaders.

There were all kinds of garage bands out there. This video captures the drums captioning the names of many of the bands and the sound that they carried.

Expression of the bands’ views, beliefs and emotion finds its way into the music naturally. In every era, these expressions encompass the wide array of lifestyles, opinions, and views of the musicians. Music is a sign of the times covering all that an era represents. The Grasshoppers’ song “The Very Last Day” talks about  Judgement Day. The lyrics go “ everybody’s gonna pray on the very last day when they hear that bell ring the world away”.


Dancing to the sound of the garage bands provided another outlet for fun and expression as you can see in this video of 60’s Garage, Surf, Freakbeat and Psychedelic Music. It was an exciting time of new music that was a springboard into the wide array of rock we enjoy today.

We have a rich Christian music history with so many stories behind it. God is representing himself through musical ambassadors. I strongly believe that he uses music to carry his message to a world that so desperately needs him.


Linda Fau


With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Who Are Those Bad Christians?

Linda | February 21, 2017

Have you heard of the bad Christian movement? I became interested in reading the book, Bad Christian, Great Savior by Matt Carter, Toby Morrell, and Joey Svendsen after being introduced to the movement through some of the bands that I like. The band members of Emery are the authors of the book and started the phenomenon.  Intrigued by it all, I decided to investigate what the whole “bad Christian” thing is all about. I will give you my take on the book coming from my perspective. If what you read here interests you, I suggest that you read the book. If you are open to hearing people out, even if they may not feel just like you do about everything, this book will open your eyes to understand why a lot of people feel the way they do about Christians and the church. I  feel that hearing people out is a worthwhile exercise that broadens our horizons and helps us to understand God and his people better.

Have you noticed a shift in Christian culture toward a more genuine, honest look at just who we are as Christians and just as people in general.  The pretenses are falling away, the hypocrisy has been exposed time and time again and people don’t have any tolerance for fakes anymore. This demand for transparency seems to have been initiated by millennials but is spreading and becoming mainstream. The book falls along those lines being very honest, written the way the authors really talk, sometimes using strong language.  The overarching message is, we don’t have to act like we’re better than we are. It is Jesus who is perfect, not Christians. As Christians, even once we’re saved we really do not become “good” just hopefully better than we were. We still do bad things and fall short of God’s standards. In the beginning of the book Emery band members, Matt, Toby, and Joey (also a pastor), share a little bit about how each of them, still bad, maybe better in some ways, but still not “good” Christians” by God’s standards struggled in their faith. Noticing that they weren’t the only Christians who didn’t have it all together brought them to this place of realization that we are bad Christians at best. Jesus confirmed this when he said, “Why do you call me good?” “Only God is truly good.” Luke 18:19  Why then do Christians act like they are “good” and the rest of the people in the “world” are bad? The book exposes the reality of the matter, “It’s a big problem that we try to appear “good” when the core of our beliefs state that we are, by nature and choice, “effed” up, so much so that we require the supernatural God to save us (Romans 8: 3-4). Hence the title of the book, Bad Christian, Great Savior.

The book’s chapters cover

  • Bad Christians and the Bible
  • Bad Christians and the church
  • Bad Christians and the community


Bad Christians are to be seeking God’s righteousness (Matthew 6:33). The verse doesn’t say we are to be seeking to perfect our own righteousness. We can’t! The Bible calls us out time and time again as what we are, fallen humans, prone to sin but with a great Savior that loves us and gave his life for the times that we “eff up”.  Following “the biblical model of honesty and storytelling” as mentioned in chapter 2 will lead more people to Christ than pretending to be a “good” Christian.”  Paralleling the biblical characters that followed God and those that didn’t, the book points out that the Bible only describes two kinds of people, non-Christians, and bad Christians. Listing some of the awful sins that people who didn’t follow God in the Bible engaged in paints a dark picture. But Christians are certainly better than that, right? Hold on, chapter 2 goes on to show that those that followed God engaged in the same or similar sins than those that didn’t. They were bad Christians who loved God. They didn’t keep all the commandments and neither can any of us. That’s the point the book is trying to make. That is why the biblical characters and why we too need a Savior.


Having grown up in churches where legalism prevailed and Christians pretended to be better than they were, a sort of distaste for the church developed in the authors. Does that sound familiar? I think many of us m may have experienced this. The views presented in the book are freeing. A sort of permission to be truthful and honest about who we really are, how we struggle and a rejoicing in the fact that we have a great Savior that has rescued us and gives us the power to be better Christians and still loves us even though we are still not good enough. The guys state their mission as desiring to get out the gospel with the before mentioned realities in mind. We are worse than we may think and Jesus is so much better than we realize is the message they are proclaiming.

A list of what the church may present as the way to be a good Christian is presented with things like “go to church” and “read your Bible” on it but are we addressing the deeper rooted sins? God’s list of change and repentance that is needed in our lives is a little harder to fess up to. This is an honest representation, no holds barred book. Wait, isn’t that what the Bible is too? There is a transparency about biblical characters and the sins that they struggled with.  Why then can’t we be honest about our real sins, you know the secret sins that most people don’t know about.

The book does not take a view that the church isn’t important, quite the contrary. The authors simply feel that the way that change occurs in Christians is by drawing close to God, not by checking sins conquered off of our sin list. The church is made up of Christians trying to appear holy when we’re really not. This is hurting us and keeping people on the outside from coming in. When we are not being real with each other, we are often shocked when a fellow Christian, especially a leader falls.  I love the statement in chapter 3, “When leaders fail, we should be the first responders, not the crowd watching the accident scene in shock or hurling blame” . We have to stop the hypocrisy and instead help each other get back up when we stumble. That’s what Jesus did. That’s what the church should do.


We Christians can be bad about spending time together. Getting to know each other more deeply in community takes time, requires vulnerability, maybe sacrifice. Chapter 4 discusses the fact that many churches try to wrap everything up in the Sunday church going event. If we are to go and make disciples, grow in grace, loving and serving God together, we need more than a Sunday together. We want Jesus to change the church not just do church better, as this chapter points out. The early church spent time together, ate meals together and shared their belongings. Many church people spend a few hours on a Sunday together, then go home to their own little domains with nothing to do with each other. To be fair, not all churches are this way. I have to say I see definite breakthroughs in my church where we actually do spend time together, serve together, eat together although we could certainly do more of it. We are stronger when we’re together, but we have to be more vulnerable and honest because the more time you spend with someone, the less you can hide about yourself. The Emery band members and road crew shared lots of time together in close quarters, becoming very up close and personal with each other which they say caused that sense of community that is sometimes not found in the church. They grew together through it. That is what we need more of, Christians in community.


It seems so simple. Recognizing we are bad Christians drives us to the arms of Jesus, where alone we can find forgiveness and love to save us from our bad ways. If we focus on him and not on trying to do the impossible, eradicate all of our sin, we should be constantly reminded of the fact that we have a great Savior who loves us despite the bad things we do. His arms of forgiveness are wide. If your interest in the bad Christian movement has been sparked, visit the website for discussion and materials about the harder topics in life, you know the ones we don’t want to admit to. On the website, you can explore music, podcasts, books a men’s study and more. Let’s get real, keep it honest and cling to our great Savior.

Please note referenced quotes from the book:

Bad Christian, Great Savior on Amazon

Bad Christian TV on YouTube

Bad Christian Website














Linda Fau


With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

Islander, Power Under Control

Linda | February 12, 2017

I became obsessed with Islander’s Power Under Control when every song drew me in and kept me engaged. The songs vary in genre being described as alt-rock, punk via hip-hop inspired,  alt- punk, emo, second wave nu-metal, modern with some retro undertones and likened to a Deftones, POD, Afghan Whigs and Incubus. The album is wonderfully chaotic but comes together with a characterization of finding someone wrapped in a life of selfish hedonism and taking them by the hand to a more hopeful existence. Every song drew me in and kept me engaged. I loved the energy and every time I hit the last track on the album, I wanted to hear it again soon. When this happens, I know it’s going to be one of my journeys of complete album immersion. Power Under Control is such an album for me.

Islander signed with Victory Records and have released two EPs, Side Effects of Youth in 2012, Pains in 2013, a studio album, Violence and Destruction in 2014 and this album Power Under Control was released in 2016 with the band’s new line-up. Only Mikey Carvajal, the frontman for the band remains from the original band.  The current bassist is ex-ForeverAtLast bassist Ezekiel Vasquez, the drummer former is Arin Ilejay formerly of Avenged Sevenfold and guitarist J.R. Bareis, from Love and Death,  Brian “Head” Welch’s (Korn) band. Mikey revealed what he feels about the shift in band members, “I truly believe that what God tears down, God rebuilds,” says the singer, who, like Fieldy and Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch, is seriously devoted to his faith.” (Rolling Stone) The title of the album comes from the New Testament theme of power under control, realizing the power we possess as believers, but using that power in meekness.  The songs follow the adventures of a character that starts out angry, selfish and hedonistic and gradually learns the value of love and sacrifice.

The band has been reinvented into an exciting, eclectic combination of sounds bringing them a wider fanbase. When asked if there is a theme to the album, Mickey told Audi Ink Radio, “Absolutely. This album is a concept album following a character on their own path. They learn how to harness their energy for something good rather than having energy spewing out of their life in all directions. It’s all about being focused and at peace. That doesn’t come without a struggle though.” He also explained in another interview that “each song brings an attitude that represents the next step of the progression.” At the end of this road this progression, the power under control  is found.

The first song on the album “Darkness” picks up with a turbulent sound with rhythmic rapping and alternate singing that starts you off on this wild ride. The subject matter takes us to people that most of us know,  have known and in many cases have been who are admittedly hedonistic and selfish, just living life whatever way they choose with no thought for others and no apologies.  This song introduces you to a character running on the extreme end of “darkness”.  A sarcastic look at such a character makes you realize how empty that kind of life is and just plain void of any meaning or purpose. Have you known people who celebrate their bad behavior and just don’t want to change? Have you been there? This character refuses to look at their soul in the mirror to see how gross it really is. They use their self-destructive lifestyle for bragging rights. I can remember living life in the shadows, for only me. My experience wasn’t as extreme as this character but a walk in the dark to any extent is enough to remember how completely turbulent this type of life is. This brush with “Darkness” makes you want to cling to the light that Christ shines in a life surrendered to him and hang on for dear life. I remember having dreams as a new believer where I found myself slipping back in the darkness and it scared me to death.

Bad Guy starts with one of Mikey’s characteristic shrieks. I love that. It makes it feel natural. This song could have mainstream appeal and addresses a role that we all have to play at times. You know how sometimes you have to be the “bad guy or gal” and call out a friend on their bad behavior. It could be something that’s hurting them or those around them and someone has got to call it to the table. Nobody likes doing it but a true friend will play the bad guy if they have to.

This is something that I don’t wanna say
But I’m gonna say it
You better believe it

Green Slime Man is a quick 1:09 minutes long, starts out with a moody guitar intro, then steps into fast paced rhythm with hard hitting lyrics,

“because they’re all neon, and their all scary and mean”. What is the green slime man?

I tried to put it together, the Green Slime Man,  but I couldn’t figure out what the song is talking about. If you know what it means, maybe you can fill me in.

Take a ride with me to a Better DayWhen things get dark, we can go back and remember the good days. Deep down inside we know we can go back to those better days.

Cause you’ve been waiting for a better day (Waiting for it)
To come along and love you like it used to
Mend the pieces of your heart
Cause you’ve been waiting for a better day (Waiting for it)
To come along and love you like it used to
Mend the pieces of your heart
You’ve been waiting for a better day, a better day
(To love you like it used to like it used to)

The feeling of invincibility that often goes along with the teen years and for some sticks into adulthood can shut us off from sound advice and from building bridges with authority figures. The song’s characters, feeling powerful and independent, they don’t need anyone.  All these characters need is the crowd they run with and their music (punk rock). They run their own lives, separating themselves from anyone that tries to interfere.  All We Need reveals this mentality.

Out on the streets they’ve been calling the shots. But not for long because we run this block. On the grind, we’re on the clock. All we need is our punk rock.

Devil Red starts with the sounds of a party that goes into heavy metal guitar riffs described as “sneering punk meets hip hop meets emo meets proto-rock by Blabbermouth and then the musical sound of a warning that you would expect in a movie when something bad is about to happen. This leads into a detailed description of this Devil Red. The accuser of the brethren is being called out for his dirty deeds as ruler of the darkness. I love the intense feeling of the subject, yet the musically fun tone of the song. I love Mikey’s screams that totally fit the mood of the song. My favorite lyric in the song is,

You’re a mislabeled poison with a bitter aftertaste
They call you the lord of the flies….AHHH, Devil Red

It makes you want to go gang up on that demon of red and throw him into the pit ahead of his time.

A Boat Going By is a moody, short, instrumental that to me feels like a transitional time, taking you from darkness to a better day.

Starting out with music almost resembling church music, the lyrics to Beelzebub start out with a statement with shock appeal but musically carries a softer tone.

I know the church is a whore, but she’s my mother and I love her
There’s not a thing you could say, or price you could pay to make me think any less of her

Addressing problems in the church has left many with a dismal feeling of frustration. Recognizing the problems but keeping the love for God’s living organism, the church intact is something we all have to deal with. The song also seems to address government (taking away guns) and those that are aligning themselves with Satan, although they may not think of it that way.

You’ve got an engagement ring shining on your finger
You’re waiting to be married to hell
You’ve got an engagement ring shining on your finger
It’s beautiful
It’s beautiful as hell

Ready to crack a few dance moves, Think it Over gets you bopping. It is a hopeful song, encouraging and learning how to put that power under control into action (THINK it over).

Take a good look in the mirror, and tell me what you see
All I see is potential staring back at you and me

Embrace the good in life and run with your dreams is the message here. Celebrate the light. I love it, let’s go!

Dance Dance. Party trance
Get on the floor and take a chance
Move Move. Bust a groove
Get so crazy that you lose a tooth

Accepting the fact that some things in life change, they don’t Last Forever and others take time. Be it relationships, bands, families going their own separate ways, people leaving this earth or a host of other things, acceptance is key. We have to move on to the place God is taking us next. We can’t get stuck in the past.

And here I go again
Dreaming of the end
The beginning of my forever
No fear
I’m wanting more and more of what I have in store
A dream I’ve had since before I was born

One of my favorite songs on the album, Casket has a powerful message. It takes a good hard look at death and where it will be taking you. Putting your arm around a friend and helping them to see the two choices before them is not an easy thing to do but its reality. How can we just ignore this. We’ve got to clue them in to the ultimate reality and meaning of life itself.

Would you rather be devoured by the hounds of hell
Or would you rather say…
You can put me in a casket and lay it in a grave
Write my name on a tombstone, but I promise I’m okay
Throw my body in a river
Or burn it up in the flames
Write my name on a tombstone
I keep asking death “Where is your sting?”
I said it.

I love it! Death where is your sting? The song ends with that and I love the way “Sting” is drawn out by Mikey as the last word.

Bringing friends around to the promise of eternity with Jesus is the greatest privilege we get to experience. Wait For It is a pretty song describing to a friend what they should do to embrace life, to transfer their name from the book of death to the book of life. Listen to the album below on Spotify (free streaming) and feel the journey. Allow God to speak into your heart the message he has for you in it all and then talk about it with your friends. Be a good friend, make a difference.


Enjoy this amazing album of commotion, drama, twists and turns taking you from the pit of darkness where Devil Red and Beelzebub dwell and leading you to the light.  Rolling Stone quoting Islander who shared their feelings about what fans want from music,  Johnny Cash once said, ‘The people just want four chords and the truth,’ and at the end of the day I think that idea still applies.” Islander works hard to please and to bring hope to their growing fan base.







Linda Fau


With a passion for Rock and Roll with a purpose-driven message, I've dedicated myself to providing you with all the best news and resources possible for Rock 'n Roll with a Purpose. Rock on!

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