Quench - Reality Radio
Last modified: 10 Mar 2009
This four track EP has been in the works for a long time. Quench's opportunities have been limited in recent years, mainly due to the Christian music industry's general reluctance to produce out and out rock albums: their last came out in 2003, whilst a live DVD recorded in 2005 remains unreleased. It's a shame, especially since Reality Radio (which the band funded themselves) is a stunning record.
Every track actively questions a different aspect of the fake 'reality TV' culture that surround us, whether it be keeping our faith quiet, or living out an unfulfilled life. Opening with Mark Hamilton's blistering guitar, 'Identity Crisis' explores how an unnamed rock band seemed to move away from their Christian roots: 'Then you do, then you don't, then you will, then you won't. Tell me who you're trying to be!' The lyrics challenge whether we too, at times, may have skirted around the issue of what we believe. The closing solo is a highlight.
Other tracks manage to portray the band's personal experiences through their unique hard-hitting style. The more pop orientated 'Chameleon' depicts the pain of a collapsed relationship. 'No More Pretending', (one of the best tracks Jamie Hill has ever written) talks about how so many of us look for meaning in things that cannot satisfy. Lead singer Hill utilises his powerful vocals to full effect over the course of the record, giving it another dimension.
Admittedly, the shorter EP format has led to an absence of the more mellow contemplative tracks seen on their other projects (such as Afterglow's fantastic 'Underwhelmed') but in spite of this, Reality Radio remains an excellent release: refreshingly creative and mastered to perfection. With initial negotiations already taking place regarding a new album, and writing sessions planned for early 2009, the future looks bright for this top British band.
Review by J Alexander
J rating 5 out of 5 stars
Stand Out Tracks
No More Pretending