The Mission Bell (Cross Rhythms)
Last modified: 29 Sep 2005
Source: Cross Rhythms
Author: Tony Cummings
Date: 29 Sep 2005
Their eighth studio album and one which will unlikely be reviewed in Q (which is no great loss considering the ludicrous mauling that sad, anti-Christian publication recently handed out to Switchfoot). So have the d:boys delivered an album up there with 'King Of Fools'? I'd say they have, thanks to some magnificent new compositions from Mr Smith, some sonic wizardry from Kiwi producer Sam Gibson and an open-hearted vulnerability and Holy Spirit boldness which permeates the whole project.
Probably the track which will get the most immediate attention is the pulsating rocker "Paint The Town Red" which starts off like a snarly garage band from an American one horse town before developing into an anthemic "here we go" arm puncher which will no doubt enliven stadium crowds for years to come. The tracks that drew me in were the eerie, solemn "Take Off My Shoes" where over an ebowed guitar Martin sings in that mood of tremulous poignancy only he can emanate. Then there's a breathtaking "All This Time" where an undulating guitar pattern kicks off an arrangement which leaves vistas of reverberating space before it suddenly explodes into a rock solid chorus, followed by a HEAVY guitar then cuts away again.
Sam and the boys are to be congratulated with such an explosive rock 'n' roll dynamics. Ear-catching tracks don't stop there - the opener "Stronger" which I recently heard on a soon-to-be-released Narnia Chronicles compilation has grown on me while "Miracle Worker" from its voice and piano intro to its shimmering climax is a no holds barred celebration of the holiness of God. 'The Mission Bell' rings out with a defiant note of faith in these troubled times. It will surely resonate in the hearts of tens of thousands.