Saturday, January 3, 2015

Fighter "Bang the Drum"

Bang the Drum
1992 Wonderland Records
Produced By: Caesar Kalinowski & Fighter

album cover


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Track Listings

Band Members

Bill Heller: Guitars & bass
Mark Pence: Keyboards, drum programming
Sean Murphy: Lead & background vocals, drums, acoustic guitar
Amy Wolter: Lead & background vocals
Jim Wolter: Bass

This is one of those albums that always eluded my escape as a youth. I eventually found the cassette on closeout at a Christian book store, but I never listened to it much beyond the first few songs. I wore out their first album, The Waiting, mainly because I owned that album on CD. Now that I've been reunited with this album on CD thanks to a cheap eBay auction, I quickly remembered why I loved this band so much.

The vocals are shared by Amy Wolter and Sean Murphy and each of their own distinct sound. I've always been partial to female rock vocals and Amy has one of the best voices in my opinion. Having the two singers share the lead vocal duties gives this album some good diversity.

In the liner notes are some insights to each song, written by the song writer. I love this type of thing as it gives you a little inside information on how the song came to be.

Time Out, written by Sean Murphy. 
We all know those people who have been hardened by the world and feel like they don't deserve God's love. The truth is, we don't deserve it. That's why Jesus died. They need to be told that through Him there is love and life, but time is short.

Great opening song for the album. Love the message and the big vocal harmonies on the chorus capture that late 90's / early 2000's arena rock sound.

Alone With You, written by Amy Wolter
I'm finally learning to listen for God's voice instead of always asking for everything. Quiet time with Him is so important.

Who here hasn't spent more time asking God for "stuff" than actually listening for His voice? I know I have. Amy takes lead vocals here on this ballad like song. This one has radio single all over it.

Bang the Drum, written by Sean Murphy
Do you live in freedom? We have come up with so many of our rules for Christians to live by that it as practically nullified Christ's death on the cross. We are saved by grace. If we revert back to living by laws the Bible calls it Spiritual Adultery. Galations 2:21, 3:2-3, 5:1, & 5:4-6

I love the opening guitar riff on this song. Bill Heller's guitar skills are on display here. Driving song with Sean on lead vocals.

When Will We Learn, written by Amy Wolter, Billy Heller & Sean Murphy
We've all been guilty of hanging on to our problems. Will we ever learn to hand 'em over?!

Guilty as charged! It just seems to easy to keep those problems and burdens on your own shoulders than simply hand them over. I guess it's just a power struggle or an ego problem most of us have. Amy again takes lead here. Upbeat, guitar heavy, typical Fighter style.

Faithfully, written by Sean Murphy & Mark Pence
Hebrews 10:23

The first ballad on the album, sung by Sean. If you had a adult contemporary Christian radio station in your area in the 90's, you may have heard this song before.

Avalanche, written by Sean Murphy
Most people deny God by chasing after the temporary excitement the world gives, while they laugh at true Christians, who will have an eternity of joy & peace, as if we're naive nerds. But I used to be one of them. 1st Corinthians 1:18-30, Psalm 16:18

I can think of many of these types of songs my various Christian know, the "turn or burn" type songs. I'm not really knocking the song, but I just don't care for this song. The drum machine is annoying and the chorus just doesn't do anything for me. At least the short acoustic guitar opening is different. This is the one song on the album I usually skip over.

Try, written by Billy Heller and Amy Wolter
To be rejected for your faith by somoene close to you, hurts a lot. But unless we fight back with love, we've lost.

I never dated much in my youth, in fact I only dated 3 different girls before I met my wife. However one rule I set for myself back then was to only date someone that had the same faith as I. These lyrics deal with someone being rejected because of what they believe in. I did once date a girl that didn't see eye to eye with my beliefs. I thought I could change her and make her believe what I believe. Nope. Amy takes lead vocals here. Big chorus with wailing guitars. Not one of my favorite tracks on the album, but I love the music.

So Much To Learn, written by Billy Heller and Sean Murphy
I started out writing this song about denominational walls, but it ended up talking about some of my own personal relationship struggles. James 4

Had Sean not shared how this song morphed and changed during the writing phase, I wouldn't have any idea that this song didn't deal with some sort of relationship challenge. After reading the lyrics I can see both sides as he mentioned in his comments. This song sounds a lot like many of the other songs Sean sings lead on. Not a bad thing though.

Without You, written by Amy Wolter
If Jesus was absent from my life, everything would be meaningless. As long as He lives in me, there is hope, my only hope!

This is Amy's turn at a slower, piano driven song. Beautiful lyrics. I can imagine this song being sung in many churches across the country. 

Your Hand, written by Amy Wolter
Some things in life are so puzzling and weird... One night I became keenly aware that through God's eyes, all these things are just a tiny part of the big picture, and not to get hung up on one piece of the puzzle.

This song speaks to be because I'm the kind of person that likes to zero in on one thing and not look at the big picture. I want to carefully plan everything out, step by step, before continuing. At times I'll get so caught up on one thing, that I fail to realize this is just part of the puzzle, just as the song mentions. Well written song, laid back on the verses, then picks up tempo on the chorus.

Where Can Love Be Found, written by Sean Murphy
Every so often I see on the news or in the paper, where a young guy or girl as run away from home because of some sort of abuse. But they find the world is just as abusive and they think they have no where to turn. If you're one of them; Jesus knows you and He loves you.

This is probably the one song I can't relate to personally. I was one of the lucky ones to grow up in a loving home with loving parents. Something I've always took for granted, until I married my wife and realized that not everyone's family was like mine. This song has a distinct sound as it's the only track where the acoustic guitar is used for the entirety.

Overall this is a great album, but I can't help to think I still prefer their freshman effort, The Waiting, a little bit better. This one shouldn't set you back too much money if you wish to seek it out. Took me awhile to find a copy, but then again I wasn't actively looking either.

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