Friends Joe Yerke and Nate Sjogren started up The Insyderz, an aggressive ska band from Detroit, Michigan. In 1997, Motor City Ska introduced the six-piece band as a true addition in Christian ska. These guys came into the picture quickly when there was barely any ska in the Christian market. They entered the scene with an obvious faith, energy and passion. You'll notice on this record that almost every track is upbeat and has a very raw brass sound. The first track, "Carnival," opens up with some off-beat guitar and then picks up with an extremely jumpy, yet engaging, beat. The vocals really catch your attention if you've never listened to these guys before too - in a good way, with Yerke's deeper, more gravelly vocal delivery than their genre-mates like The O.C. Supertones.
Some of the tunes on this album such as "2:3, 4, 5 (This I Know)," "Buddy Boy," and "Walking Dead" make it seem like the band was destined to perform live with their clear sound and performance-driven vocals. Some of these tracks even made it onto their Greatest and Rarest Hits album a few years later. "Enthos" really has the sound of pre-Five Iron Frenzy, which says something for these guys and their talent. "Sacrifice" is what stands out in this album, however, as a gloomy, slow moving cry of the crucifiction story. The screaming vocals, along with the slow, eerie brass chords, certainly leave a strong remembrance of what happened. The lyrics of "Sacrifice" repeatedly remind us of what Christ gave up for us and what He went through. It ends with the increasingly piercing lyrics, "What could I give him, as far as I am? If I was a shepherd, I'd give him a lamb. If I was a wise man, I'd do my part. What could I give him? I'll give him my heart." Closing out Motor City Ska is the track "Weebles," a relaxed reggae/ska jam that comes attached to another fun three minute hidden song.
There isn't much to nitpick about this record, except for that it contains only thirty minutes of music if it wasn't for the last extended track. If you were a big fan of the O.C. Supertones in the 90s, than you would probably enjoy the sweet sounds of The Insyderz. It was the first project by the newly formed ska band, so you could expect much more from their following releases as they continued to grow as musicians over time. Definitely pick it up if you are a fan of ska/rock.- Reviewed: 8/8/08, written by Patrick Anderson
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