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Rend Collective Experiment - Organic Family Hymnal
Last modified: 04 Jan 2010

Rend Collective Experiment - Organic Family Hymnal
I have been hearing this band name, Rend Collective Experiment, for a few months but never hearing any of their music. I was told by many that they are amazing; something new, a worship revolution. I had heard these words before for artists, but been sadly disappointed that those bands had not lived up to the hype. So when given Rend Collective Experiment's new album I was sure this was going to be all hype and a waste of my time. After about 3 tracks I had to take everything back and proclaim Organic Family Hymnal as the best album I have heard in the last 5 years. Rend Collective Experiment had made the album I had been waiting for my whole Christian life, and I don't say these words lightly.

The band started in Northern Ireland in 2004 as a group of confused twentysomethings trying to figure out life, God, community and kingdom living. The band came from that - they started writing songs that made sense to them. They describe themselves as "a collective of people like a family and not just a band. We want our music to be what we call Organic worship, an honest and natural connection with God, something which is authentic and not artificial. We want to create an environment for people to have genuine encounters with Him and to find themselves singing to Him in ways that they find real." That is what this album is; honest and Organic. But it's not your normal worship album, as Survivor Records A&R Manager went on to say, "What they've done with worship is what people like Rob Bell or Francis Chan have done with sermons. Taking down all the scaffolding and stuff that we've built up around it over the years and giving us something fresh to join in with." This is probably one of the best ways of explaining the style and sound of the band.

Musically they sound like a mainstream band known as The Polyphonic Spree. If you have never heard that name, you would of heard their music as their song was used in the Sainsbury adverts with well known British chef Jamie Oliver. The Polyphonic Spree are a large collection of band members playing a large array of musical instruments. Rend Collective Experiment are similar in that they use their creativity in worship to its full potential. You will hear this especially in Exalt which starts off as a Muse sounding track but then explodes into colour with trumpets, flutes and any other musical instrument the band can get hold of.

While listening to this in the car picking up some shopping, my wife said "at times the songs can seem a bit busy with so much going on in the background" and in parts I do agree that the majority of the tracks are very busy but this is what I feel makes their sound so interesting. It is not until track 7, God is Near, that we have a breather with this quiet relaxed praise moment.

The two radio friendly tracks from the album have to be Faithful and Movements which are very uplifting worship tracks. What I find interesting about these songs are the worship lyrics with music you would find an indie band creating, but what comes through in this album is that you can tell these bands members like creating music and are one big happy family.

Is Organic Family Hymnal a revolution in Christian Music? Yes! So join the revolution and buy this album, this isn't your traditional worship album, if anything it's much more colourful and we all need a bit of colour in our life once in a while.

Review by Jono Davies

Stand Out Tracks
Exalt
Movements
You Bled
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