Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Surfing with Rez Band

Resurrection Band's "Babylon" is a rockin' apocalyptic warning, a precursor to Holy Soldier's "When the Reign Comes Down" and W.A.S.P.'s "Babylon's Burning," and cousin to a whole bunch of Rastas.

Not much to say about it, except that Glenn Kaiser and band seem particularly offended by the way wealth and comfort can obscure the difficult call of the Gospel:

"Sometimes it flowed like magic
The pleasure hid the flaw
But oh forever tragic
Him you never saw"

And if you STILL don't see Him when Babylon begins to burn, you are, apparently, toast.

Without speculating on whether their scriptural reading is correct, I will say that Rez have more room than most rockers to talk about the spiritual perils of wealth and comfort. They're the flagship band (currently on hiatus) of the Jesus People USA, Chicago's preeminent Christian commune. According to the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music, they've got some neighborhood political clout on social justice issues. They live close to poverty level and use their communal earnings to feed the poor and desperate. From their website:

"We can see only one good reason why God makes a person prosperous: so that individual's needs can be met and they can in turn give away the overflow. It is like milk and cream. Cream is the richest part of the milk. It is the top cut. When the Lord meets your needs and then gives more, that cream is not to be skimmed of the top for yourself. We should willingly think, 'Oh, I have more than I need,' and immediately distribute the overflow to others."

So I tend to give their apocalyptic diatribes a little more weight than those of Blackie Lawless. Not that Blackie doesn't rock, but I don't think their politics would sit well with him.

JPUSA also run Cornerstone Festival, coming soon to a muddy field near you! (Or not.) Watch for several bewildered Christian Rock Overviews in the alternative press! (Demon Hunter is a Christian band? Who am I thinking of?) (DEVIL DRIVER.) (Carry on.)

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