The revival of 80s alternative music has hit the mainstream market like a flood, with bands such as The Muse, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, and Modest Mouse becoming huge successes. So it was only a matter of time before the popularity of this new indie sound spilled over into the Christian market. The Myriad is one of the bands that are leading the charge of this new popular sound onto the Christian music scene, creating a sound that fuses indie with progressive rock.
The Myriad's ethereal sound starts with vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Edwardson, whose sounds like Matthew Bellamy (Muse) meets Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), and ends up being haunting yet melodic. In fact, at times the band sounds like Queens of the Stone Age with toned down guitars and more amplified keyboards. Strangely, however, when the band moves into their acoustic and piano driven ballads, they end up sounding somewhat like Switchfoot and Coldplay. The group doesn't break any new ground musically, sharing many similarities with Muse and Radiohead, and they seem to struggle to find their own sound at the beginning of the album. However, as the album progresses, the band is able to more readily define themselves and find their musical footing.
The heavier songs on the album are solid, but nothing spectacular. The guitars and bass on songs such as "Stretched," "Tethered" and "Nothing Is Safe" have the same dirty tone, leaving it up to the synthesizer to give some individuality to each song. It's the mellower, acoustic ballads where this band seems to find their niche. The Myriad doesn't put their sound in a box as much on tracks such as "The Last Time" and "A New Language," allowing themselves to hang loose and give the songs a more complete sound. In fact, the best song on the album is the last track, "We Will Be Disappointed Together," a ballad that has more emotion and build than any other song on the record.
Lyrically, the band showcases its ability to write well thought out songs, but sometimes they come off a little vague. For example, in "10,000 x 10,000" Edwardson sings "And I've given all I have/ I've given my whole soul/ I'm ready to go." It's tough to tell here whether he is discussing giving up or having poured his whole life into something great. Yet on "The Last Time," the band makes a very clear statement: "How can we risk not knowing the end of night/ in the hour of longing, we will spark a myriad of lights."
The Myriad have created an album that should make some noise in the Christian industry. However, one has to wonder if this band, as well as other artists from the same genre, will be able to morph their sound when the indie fad inevitably dies out. Nonetheless, this is a strong freshman effort from a young band on the rise.- Review date: 6/19/05, written by Jason Ingersoll
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