"Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart today." And so begins "Rattlesnake," the first track from Bride's 1992 release, Snakes In The Playground. At the time that I first heard this record, I was into bands like Petra, Whiteheart, and Degarmo & Key. With all due respect to those bands, Snakes... was a whole different animal - pardon the pun.
Snakes In The Playground had something that most Christian rock records didn't have at that time - aggression. The whole thing was aggressive. The music, lyrics and Dale Thompson's high pitched wail was aggressive. And that is one of the things that makes this record so good. Just as the evil in the world is aggressive as it tries to destroy us, Bride gets just as aggressive in return.
Musically, the album is full of great guitar riffs that any band would be proud of - secular or Christian. There is also an abundance of scorching guitar solos provided by Troy Thompson. It's straight up rock n' roll. The lyrics are aggressive too. Bride wasn't afraid to take on touchy subjects and do so with a blunt honesty and realism that was new to many listeners of Christian music at the time. "Picture Perfect" paints an image of the downward spiral of a young girl and includes the graphic line about abortion, "Coat hangar alley where the doctors work cheap." And in "Don't Use Me," Dale Thompson gives an equally graphic tale of drug abuse and its consequences, pointing to Jesus as the only way out of such circumstances. In "Love, Money," they take on the subject of immigration even years before it was such a hot political issue.
Everyone has those records that just blew them away. This was one of those records for me. If you are a fan of Christian rock, this is a must-have for your collection. It's searing, it's visceral, and it's just simply a great album.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 12/31/07, written by Terry Sexton for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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