If you are unfamiliar with this Washington-based four-piece rock outfit, Hyperstatic Union is the first band to release music under Third Day's Consuming Fire Productions. Third Day front man Mac Powell produced the album, which gave many people, including myself, a good feeling about this debut release, even before any music was heard. However, even after several attempts, I still find it impossible to get through the album in one sitting. There is not one particular thing that does not work, it is the combination of it all: the music, the under-polished production, and the lyrical quality.
It cannot be denied that HSU definitely has a different musical sound, in fact they have several. With "Chariot," the band creates what easily could be the next single from Sugar Ray, while on "Overhead," which is currently enjoying some success on radio (#13), HSU goes for the harder rock sound, with the coarse vocal track taking the backseat to roaring guitar riffs. Things even get a little funky with "Can't Leave It Alone," whilst HSU ventures even further on their cross-genre trek, pulling their own MercyMe power-ballad with "Free Me." None of these songs are textbook poor musically; they just do not fit together to form a well-crafted debut album.
The only consistent problem I have with Lifegiver is with the lyrics - not the message represented by the lyrics, but rather the lyrics themselves. Take the chorus of "Chariot" for example: "I'm waiting, watching, and I'm wondering / Will You carry us / Right past the lightning and the thundering / In Your chariot" Their music strives to be so different from everyone else, yet they do not have the lyrical power to really make their music one of a kind, which acts almost like a handicap.
For every truly great Christian band that calls it quits, you have ten more fighting to take their place. While Hyperstatic Union is by no means an untalented band, Lifegiver is not the solid debut a band needs to establish their ground in the industry. HSU does not mind being different, and they deserve commendation for fearlessly delivering such a unique album like this, but after all of the hype and PR push over this debut fades away, one has to wonder if there would be enough reason to not lose track of the band.- Review date: 5/8/06, written by Andrew Shaw
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