The Updraft Imperative
Chair is available is available from:
One Life- 8.8/10.0
I Believe- 8.6
All My Life- 8.5
Fighting In My Head- 8.7
Y In The Road- 8.6
Why Do I Run- 8.6
Life Without- 9.0
Love That's Real- 8.9
One Life, Chair, Fighting In My Head, Life Without, Love That's Real
15TH December, 2012
SAMPLE TRACKS CAN BE ACCESSED AT:
Christian-Rock, Funk-Rock, Groove-Rock, Pop, Rock.
These impressive Australian Funk-Rock/Christian-Rock folk are on a charm mission in the U.K. Stations and publications are beholding The Updraft Imperative and their special brand of song: Chair is a startling and confident debut. If you are- like me- non-religious, then know this: all listeners will come away from the experience with a lighter and more nourished heart.
TODAY'S review is a bit of a new occurrence for me...
Not only am I assessing a new band- that many would not have heard of- I am also encountering a genre of music that I would not normally do so: Christian Rock. The term can be a misnomer and misleading term: many would associate the music with acoustic guitar-wielding artists attesting about their love of God- passion in there for sure, but not something most of us would take the time to seek out. Being an atheist myself, I approached the band with an open mind: knowing I would perhaps not connect with the messages fully; I was willing to embrace the power of the music- in a weird way I find myself converted. Not to religion, but to a sense of adventureousness. The great thing about the genre is that it doesn't need to change your beliefs- you can have faith without believing. Messages, thoughts and lines can be extrapolated and applied by everyone listening- believers and atheists alike. Being a practical virgin to Christian-Rock, it was exciting to encounter it for the first time: see how it differs from other forms and what other inspirations are drawn. Having been a fan of Sixpence None the Richer- a Texan Christian-Rock band- and their back catalogue, I was sure to find something to enjoy. I shall get onto the band's album and work very shortly, but will mention one point: Australian musicians. Over the last year, most of my examinations have rotated around acts from the U.K., U.S., Canada and New Zealand- few Australian treats have come into view. The fervent music scene of North America is leading the charge when it comes to diversity and output, yet Australia has been impressing me. Boasting some of the most urgent and enlivening Garage-Rock/Punk bands around; the country is keeping up with the competition. Few eyes tend to train their sights away from the U.S. and the U.K.: it is a shame, because a great deal of fantastic music can be found. It is not just the sounds that provide interest, mind: the people behind the music can be compelling as well. Before I go into more depth, I shall introduce the act:
Josh Kerr- Vocals
Murray Siddans- Guitars
Pete Sercombe- Drums
"If there is such a thing as Groove Rock, The Updraft Imperative is it. Josh and Murray began writing and performing contemporary Christian songs 15 years ago. Though both pursued different creative ventures, they reunited 5 years ago and recommenced writing and performing. More recently, after being joined by Peter and Iain, "The Updraft Imperative" was born. The variety of different musical backgrounds and diverse performance experience effortlessly merged into a unique musical style. The Updraft Imperative believe in strong lyrics and compelling music, which will inspire and encourage its listeners. It is their prayer that God is glorified through their music and their lives."
Groove and Funk-Rock are rare genres; an odd amalgamation, it is a highly effective and invigorating genre. The Updraft Imperative have a sound that has plenty of kick, drama and energy: they are not merely content to let their words do the talking. We in Britain do not house too many like-minded acts: Indie and Rock we do well, yet it would be good to hear more examples of the Australian trio. It seems like such a no-brainer, really: combine the joy and mesmeric charm of Funk and classic Groove; sprinkle in a distinct and raw Rock backbone- season with a bucket-load of intent and passion. Not only are the band liable to change some firm conviction, but ensure that fresh upstarts find something special in The Updraft Imperative's sound. Having made some big strides in their career (as of late), it appears that things are certainly on the up: Chair is the solidification of years of hard work and planning; the summation of a band with a lot to say.
Chair is the first album from the trio, making it hard to compare it with previous L.P.s. The band's previous single- the acclaimed One Life- is a tight and contorting beast: containing essential, primal and impassioned percussion; grooving bass and Funk guitars- it is an impressive opening statement. The band look at treading holy ground and making the most from life: that sense of walking the right path and doing what's right comes through- it is one of the tracks that features on Chair. The album pretty much picks up where One Life left off. The album contains the same sort of class and thematics: the sounds and compositions have variation, yet stay close to One Life's sound. It is clear that the band have developed and expanded: the album incorporates similar themes and issues in addition to offering plenty of fresh avenues and topics. The band's distinct sound is well represented across Chair and shows many colours and threads: the sense of passion, urgency and conviction- terms I have applied to other groups- comes through right across the L.P.- drawing inspiration from like-minded acts and some mainstream acts, they infuse a myriad of sounds and ideas into a jam-packed album. In light of the embryonic nature of the band, the best judgement one can levy is towards the album itself- rather than compare it with previous work (or other artists) assess it on its own values and potential.
It is a tricky one this: comparing the band with anyone else. As I said, my only real exposure to Christian-Rock was via Sixpence None the Richer. Not being a huge fan of The Fatherless and The Widow/This Beautiful Mess period, I did vastly enjoy their albums Sixpence None the Richer and Lost in Transition (their last album): these works were marked by their incredible Pop/Rock songs; mature and deep songs; incredible vocals and compelling guitar hooks- the central messages continue their divine mission. The Updraft Imperative have a similar connection. The vocal performances alternate between impassioned Funk and tender emoting; themes look at transition and realisation: the power of faith and belief is a common facet of both bands. What I love most about S.N.T.R. is the sympatico and kinship of the members. The relationship between Leigh Nash (lead vocals) and Matt Slocum (lead songwriter) cemented the band's relationship as one of the most assured and solid in all of music. The Updraft Imperative have a comparable friendship and closeness: this comes through in their tight and powerful performances; confident and layered songwriting. If you are purely looking for musical comparisons, then Maroon 5 and Red Hot Chili Peppers seem apt. The Updraft Imperative fuse the gleeful and hell-yeah dance of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the assured and universal charm of Maroon 5's early work. Although the band may not include the same tongue-licking lasciviousness albums Blood Sugar Sex Magik and By the Way (Red Hot Chili Peppers) posess, they do parlay the band's blood rush swagger and gift for mingling funky guitars and catchy-as-hell jams. Maroon 5's critically-acclaimed debut (Songs About Jane) was synonymous with personality, tenderness and a terrific vocal performance: The Updraft Imperative Josh Kerr's boasts an Adam Levine-esque vocal. The final comparison I would levy is towards Jamiroquai- often Maroon 5 are seen as a lesser version of the Jay Kay's outfit. Like Jamiroquai, The Updraft Imperative have a huge knowledge of Funk and Rock; able to blend elements and sounds together seemlessly- create a riot of feet-moving grooves and slinky paens. It would be appropriate to say- more so than ever- approach the music with an open mind: not just in terms of the themes being explored, but the band as a whole. The messages have a common courtesy and universal appeal: love, redemption, appreciation and gratefulness sit alongside meekness, humility, passion and rebirth: not just themes that are rare and lesser-heard but those that need to be incorporated back into music's wider regard. The sounds and compositions may not be as vibrant and daring as the likes of Red Hot Chili Pepper's, but that is not to say they are not fascinating. Whilst there is some comparable restraint and composure, the trio are more than capable of whipping up a frenzy of dance and sing along appeal; their songs inspire passion and emotion in the listener- taking their mind away from the hurdy-gurdy of life and causing them to reflect. If any of this sounds like your kind of music, then do not miss out on the Australian three-piece.
With a rushing guitar- that sounds a little like Bob Marley's Could You Be Loved- the track has a Reggae-cum-Funk opening: a cool and slinking jive that gets the energy up right from the start. Guitars spar and compete; reflect and parabond, it is a catchy back-and-forth that is joined by punchy drums. Ramping up the intrigue more, early lyrics look at the "fear of an unknown direction" and belonging. Looking at roads stretching and uncertainty, Kerr's voice is informed and direct: the clarity and conviction that comes through gives force to the song's messages. As the songs starts to build, we look at the role of God as father: having belief and following the road ahead. As our hero assess one thought "after the other", the vocal becomes more impassioned- when eliciting a falsetto coo, Kerr injects some Paolo Nutini into the mix- Siddans and Sercombe step up and keeps the momentum flowing- the percussion gets firmer and more attacking; the guitar shifts and mutates. Our hero is determined and resolved not to fall: whatever roadblocks and trials are placed under foot, they will be overcome. When it comes to looking ahead he "Can't embrace the future", as God sees all. It gets my mind thinking whether there is a secret or desire lingering beneath: if he will be judged or punished for embracing something impure or desirous. The coda and conviction to which Kerr is living is true at least: his resolve and sense of purpose is evident, yet you feel that the constraints of an omnipresent and omnipotent guardian may be quelling some innermost ambitions. Perhaps that may be an over-reach but the sense of joy comes through in the full-bodied and soulful vocal: past the half-way marker, a delirious and psychedelic guitar swathe augments this perfectly. Employing some of Jimi Hendrix's experimental luster, the riff is woozy and sweaty; emphatic and delirious- a wholly appropriate representation of what is being delivered. The chorus has a simplicity and memorable hook- you may find yourself singing along to it soon enough- that is repeated and reinforced in the final stages. The band never let the energy drop and ensure that enough movement, heart and urgency are directed to the listener: you come away impressed by the early conviction and passion. I Believe starts life infused with promise and life: the guitar line sounds like something from Radiohead's Amnesiac- with undertones of The Beatles as well. After the brief- but layered- introduction, our hero is a the mic. It seems that religion is fulfilling his needs and he can rely on faith: although darker and resistant chimes are making a noise deep down. The logical part of Kerr's mind is saying that his convictions and practices are well-founded and unmoved: a part of his heart starts to have some niggling doubts- not about the existence of God, but wide issues of faith. Stones are dragging him back and there is a desire to open his lungs and say 'I believe': that sense of need and belonging shine through (in the impassioned vocal). The biggest draw of the track lies in the composition itself. Not as bombastic and overt as its predecessor, here the mood is slightly downgraded and studied: the guitar strings mix a host of emotions and perfectly balance the vocal; the percussion is delicate but adds a huge weight to the surroundings- the fact the band did not lace the song with huge and shouty elements is a prudent and impressive move. It seems that issues of conviction, conversion and truth are causing grief: our hero is trying to speak his beliefs (to others/a particular subject) yet the light in his eyes is dimmed. Whether addressing doubts over his own faith or the problems convincing others, there seems to be some doubt creeping in. The mention of a stone as a metaphor is an effective image that seems to have our frontman shackled and castigated: the chorus' bellowed and empowered vocal is an attempt to break free and relinquish the burden. The composition keeps everything focused and meaningful: there are no aimless solos or histrionics- the sound is powerful and tight; keeping the song level and assured. With the most Chili-esque embers yet, All My Life shudders, tricks and teases its way into life. Beginning off a scratchy Funk-Rock riff, the songs instantly lodges in your brain- its sense of purpose and direction is clear. Looking at- in the early stages- purpose and meaning, the song sees our hero paying tribute to his idol. His feet are made to walk on the shore; hands to play these songs; the music to "lift your name up." That bouncing and boxing composition gives the song a jumpy and upbeat quality that lifts the song up. In addition to a busy and powerful composition, the vocal display is intent and impassioned. Possessing a modern Pop sensibility, it showcases Kerr's breadth and depth. Paying respects once more, our frontman is dedicating "all my minutes for you":" living life as unselfishly as he can it seems. The song drives and moves at a brisk rate: that sense of itinerant and travel makes it sound mobile and adventurous. Again, the chorus makes its impact known: the trio have a flair for simply effective and catchy chorus lines- All My Life's mantras keep the traditional alive. The central message is key here: by re-introducing the chorus and building the song's impact up and up, the trio ensure that their focus is clear and understood. The title track has a gentler and breezier beginning. A sweeping and summer-tinged acoustic line is joined by striking percussion: they blend to create a harmonious and uplifted whole. As our hero speaks of being comfortable in "these four walls", the percussion changes course: the beats juxtapose the vocal in their deployment (quite a unique time signature is offered) giving the song a sense of underlying anxiety and edge. Kerr is staying where he is in case he falls: deeper issues are being investigated here. Whereas previous numbers have dealt with the joys of religions; the comfort faith brings, here there are some nagging doubts: our hero wonders if God can help anyone else; if he had a day to live what would he do- philosophical and emotional issues are explored and pondered. A sense of missionary purpose comes into life: the only way that certainty can be obtained is through action. Another ebullient and effervescent composition gives the song a sense of occasion and positivity: displaying hints of Crowded House in the vocal, it is a track that will sound familiar to many. The band is tight and consistent throughout: each player is in step and knows their part expertly. Morbidity and life are looked at closely: our hero wonders how much time he has and is caught in two minds- the need to espouse and proffer his faith against the brevity and unpredictability of life. If the world ended tomorrow, our hero would not be minding his own business: instead enjoying each day. The track builds off of the necessity to make the most of each day: it is not cloying or needless preaching; instead it is affirmative and positive. The melody has a catchy and eager smile that will connect with the listeners: mixing Pop with Funk-Rock it has quite an American feel to it- you could imagine the song scoring a road trip movie (such is the sense of atmosphere and discovery). Beautiful starts its campaign similarly to Chair: that same aching and romantic guitar sound is reintroduced here. In longing- it is said- we "search between the lights." The sun is adorned and adored; the warmth radiating from it is a divine auspices that is revealing new life and purpose. The aching and emotive vocal is what wins the cynical over: possessed of plenty of beauty and seductiveness, you cannot help but be swept up by it- the backing of sprite acoustic guitar reinforces this feeling. Within the ocean swell of the vocal emanates thanks and appreciation. Kerr looks at "the beauty that you've made": the sun, land and sea are all mentioned- the offerings and landscape all beauty and awe-inspiring. Perhaps not one of the album's strongest cuts, it certainly is no slouch: its conviction and full potency will reveal itself to those whom feel the same (as the band)- for the uninitiated, the messages may not be so important; there are great aspects to take away. The conviction and vocal strength is incredible: few could argue that every word is meant; it is radiated beautifully. A simple and effective composition gives colour, light and tenderness to the track- catchiness once again is a synonym for Beautiful. Twirling and Blues-infused guitar notes give Fighting In My Head a license to intrigue: breaking away from the softness of the previous numbers, something more powerful and electric is offered. Our hero has a heavy heart and a sense of guilt. Mountain scenes and burdens give the impression that not all is right. Feeling that the truth is "something to hide"; whether his own faith is being questions I am not sure, yet there seems to be a sense of resolution. When all is down- and seemingly out- then all (our frontman) needs to do is to call: that sense of safety provides a necessary net and comfort. Containing quite a modern-edged composition, the melody and musicianship displayed is a mixture of U.S. Contemporary-Pop- with a twist of traditional Christian-Rock. Showing their versatility and range, the trio sound comfortable in any sound and environment: even when the testaments being presented have anxious and unsure utterances. "No one's coming to rescue me" is a cry that is hard to ignore: maybe people and trusted sources are letting Kerr down- the debate of religion versus humanity is being unravelled and scrutinised. Essentially, the message is thus: when the darkness comes and all seems lost, that sense that someone is listening is all you need- something we can all relate to. Knowing that "I only need to call"; that lifeline is there- the downbeat sentiments are replaces with sunnier and more elliptical promise. By the end of the song you hope that Kerr is contended and okay: the initial doubts and stresses seem to have been dissipated at least. Y In The Road assimilates riparian guitars with a persistent and punctuated acoustic line. Our hero ponders questions and life: why we take the paths we do and the choices we make. Choices and decisions are like art work: they are hanging on the wall so "anyone can see it"; the permanency and indelible nature is cleverly presented. It is here that a female figure is brought in: whether an angelic representation or a known love, it is not revealed, but provides some interest and fascination. Kerr ponders the clarity of the mind: if the dust and cobwebs were blown away- presumingly the mind is expanded- then what would we find? The song's title represents personal cross-roads: offering two directions, you either make the right choices (or the wrong)- if your mind is less repressed then you can obtain concision and clarity. Compositional duties remain firm yet do not impinge: atmosphere and emotion is laid in but it is the central vocal that is in the spotlight. The angelic figure will "sing her song aloud"; our frontman sees the Y in the road and speculates: "Who do we hurt/And who do we leave behind?" Once again putting me in mind of Woodface-era Crowded House, Kerr's vocals are serene yet potent: the performance is tender and strong; plenty of melody and light comes through in the voice- the band superbly back the frontman. The antepenultimate track begins with an intriguing and beautiful guitar sound. Lighter notes intertwine and glide; strike and ignite- creating a tantalising opening. Kerr keeps his voice passionate still; projecting a soft and emotive vocal there is a light on the horizon- he hopes that "it won't come closer." If there is a sense of manifest destiny; a feeling that he needs to embrace this light, he is reluctant to do so- asking himself why he runs, there is hesitancy once more. Our frontman questions why he resists the light: it is there- in a pious man's view- for a deeper reasons, yet he seems intransigent and reluctant. Perhaps some needed build-up would compound the song's sense of doubt- building up the tension and making things more on-edge. Running wild has made our man feel like the tide: perhaps something personal has occurred that has caused this reticence and procrastination- that sense of conviction never lets go of you. The much-needed rise does occur- just before the 2:00 mark- which sees our hero querying himself- or maybe directing his thoughts to God. Wondering whether he needs to build his own life and salvation; create his own solutions and answers- it appears that the answer needs to come from inside of him, as opposed to his treasured deity. The entire band provides bite and beauty in equal measures: guitars have a Hispanic/Latin sense of seduce and calmness; the percussion thuds intermittently- ensuring that a time clock is evident; pressing our hero to take action. It is a shame that "Under rock I hide"; the song's hero is backing away from a chance- you can sense the regret- his voice incorporating embers of Billie Joe Armstrong (you can hear the Green Day man's emotive croon here). Once more highlighting their sheer range, the song sits comfortable in its mould: the earlier Funk-Rock jives have transformed into sunset calm; acting as an aural day-night shift. The band is offering up their own ten commandments: each song has a bold truth and clear message to it. You are left what direction the next song will take: will it be upbeat and inspired or introverted and doubting? Life Without returns right to where we picked up: that insatiable and feet-tapping Funk-Rock is back- it appears we may be witnessing something more redemptive. After a funky and white-hot intro., layers are peeled and the song's intentions get to work. The title pretty much says it all: Kerr does not want to live a day without his guiding light. I was speculating whether a romance was being referenced at first- I suspect not, although the lyrics are overtly romantic and tender. The song itself acts as a Russian doll: the track professes that music is the way to communicate appreciation; this in turn is being cemented in Life Without's hypnotic hooks. Letting the guitar shine, Siddans employs shades and colours a-plenty: ranging from Funk to Blues, the guitar elements are evocative and grand- yet played with subtlety and grace. Sercombe's heartbeat percussion keeps everything in check and levelled- much-needed considering what is being professed. Strip away any hesitation- whether you are enthralled by the song's meanings- what you have is a fascinating number that marks itself out as the album's choice cut. Towards the two-thirds mark the guitars stagger and swagger: a crawling and elongated jam adds some gravity and grandeur into the mix. With Kerr's voice reaching a falsetto high- at the track's most honest moment- you can hear the conviction of his words. The song fuses all of the band's compositional elements together; clarifies their main themes and cores- stirring it together in a bubbling cauldron. As the song, the guitar has some menace to it: it strikes and retreats- before coming back in- as Kerr's voice reaches Matt Bellamy-esque highs. The finale or swan song comes in the form of Love That's Real: a track that starts with a great build-up- that is the most impressive on the set. Organ swirl mutates into a Country/Funk-Rock coda; that transition and evolution is a stunning moment that perfectly starts the track. Providing personal insight- and a lesson into the bargain- the song looks at a "young man" and a "Handful of forgotten lessons": we all know you know who (is being referenced) but the band come in with a different angle. Displaying a new line of enquiry and projection, the song is less personal than previous tracks. It is said that young pride can "drag you under": whether directly referencing an obvious central figure- or providing a parable to a wayward friend- I am not sure; I assume there is a mixture of both. It is said that you gotta run into the light of Heaven- giving your life to his name will bring fulfilment and direction. Our hero has certainly had a cleansing experience: a spiritual transmogrification, he is more calmed and relaxed than before- thanks to his faith and beliefs. Free to be who he wants to be, the sense of real love is being explored- in the form of a trustworthy shaft of light. Once again- resting on my laurels- the composition and vocal hits me hardest: the guitars and percussion weave beautifully emotive tapestry; darker notes rumble with percussive heaviness; cross-pollination and genre experimentation is at the forefront. Before the 3:00 marker, the vocal gets distorted and processed: quivering and echoed it perfectly melts with twanging and Indie guitar- in my mind, it has a definite flavour of Arctic Monkeys to it. By the final stages, the band ensure that the energy does not subside: each player joins together to unleash a rousing mantra: wailing Blues/Psychedelic guitars beautifully add some raw emotion to proceedings- joined by organ and pulsing percussion, one cannot help but be impressed. It is a perfect end to an impressive album.
I have expended a great deal of words with regards The Updraft Imperative- and Chair as a whole. Before I hand commendations around, I will offer an addendum and disclaimer. Many reading the words 'Christian' and 'Rock' may view those as an oxymoron: feel that there is too much piousness and not enough enlivening music. There are plenty of Christian-Rock bands that have very little to offer anyone- the Australian trio go that much deeper. Being an atheist, it is hard to really connect with the lyrics and feel as the trio do- few non-believers are likely to change their mindset. That would often count as a negative- when assessing a band- yet there is plenty to admire (in the words): universal truths, guidance and answers are provided. The sense of positivity and resilience is inspiring- and not grating like The Polyphonic Spree- meaning the words should not be judged on face value: there is something in every song for every one. Okay then, let's get down to thing. The songs are uniformly impressive and each possess a unique skin and fresh direction. The quality is consistent and the album is arranged so that the four strongest tracks are perfectly placed- two near the top; two at the bottom- and you are left wanting more by the final notes. In spite of the odd track perhaps not reaching giddy heights, there are no fillers to be found: even the least impressive number on Chair surpasses a lot of contemporary work. Like Sixpence None the Richer, the band use religion, faith and belief to include the listener: there are no barriers and the emphasis is not on preaching; they want to make fantastic music with honest intentions. Every moment is entertaining and intriguing: the band have a clear talent that is hard to ignore. The lyrics never tip-toe the borders of saccharine and cute; words and sentiments have a mature and intelligent edge to them- the emphasis is on conviction and passion. I like how genres as disparate as Funk and Christian-Rock are worked together: by expanding the musical palette- and providing plenty for everyone- the music can be enjoyed by everyone. The production is clear and concise; songs are afforded the chance to breathe and mesmerize: it means each note and words are crystal-clear. Finally, it is worth talking about the issue of Kerr himself: the mouthpiece for the Brisbane trio. His vocals never drop or fail to impress: passionate and strong; able to climb and whisper, he has a huge range that gives life and new meaning to his words. The captivating performances- and those of his cohorts- implore you to repeat songs: some are immediate and stirring; others reveal themselves after multiple listens. I was left impressed and surprised by Chair: shocked because I didn't realise how much good I could discover in it (there is so much depth and fascination) and impressed by the overall standard of the music- the trio are capable of re-appropriating any naysayers and Doubting Thomases. It is worth noting that the band are not looking to convert anyone to religion; they do not want to preach and force their beliefs on people- they are expressing their thanks and appreciation through the medium of music. If you go in with an open mind then you will be surprised and enthralled: the ten tracks are rife with wonder and quality. In essence, you should give the trio a good hearing: more ears need to hear their music.
It appears that future months (and years) will bring prosperity for the Brisbane trio. Chair is an album that initially captures you with its effusive and all-inclusive sound; the authority and heart on display is matched only by the catchiness and memorability of the individual numbers. Although I am a man who will never change my religious views- no music can ever be that powerful- I have at least found a great new band to investigate. I started the review by stating that Christian-Rock's mention may cause some to bridle; hesitate and be distant- thinking that they would find nothing to enjoy in the music. My lack of understanding of the genre has caused me to miss out on some great acts- The Updraft Imperative have all the credentials and class of any Rock/Indie band, yet project something different and new. Having formed a couple of years ago, the boys are still in the very early stages of their careers. Over the last few weeks the trio have had their music played in the U.K.: from Lancashire through Suffolk- and down to London- hungry stations are starting to pick up on the flair and beauty of the music. Having been compared to everything from an early-career Maroon 5 and (a quieter version of) Red Hot Chili Peppers (by news outlets and music sites), they certainly have connected with a lot of different people. In their native Australia, they have gained praise and adoration- hopefully more is to come after Chair is properly digested. U.K.-based radio play will surely find the guys in demand over here: I know that all kinds of music-lovers are keen to witness the three-piece in the flesh- I hope they do not limit their concert performances to ecumenical locales. Having a sound that can vary between arms-in-the-air Funk and softer introspection, it would be great to hear Chair's songs played in larger arenas: smaller festivals and atmosphere-filled bars will surely see their numbers swell. London is packed with exciting and reputable establishments that could easily squeeze the trio in: see fresh faces through the door; all looking to discover something new. That is the great thing about Christian-Rock: it is the solid intersection of faith and music appreciation- that space where everyone comes together to appreciate something special. Whether the songs messages speak to you (and are relevant) or you just take away something from the compositions, it is high-time more people became familiar to the band. Whether the boys will see me- a decided outsider- as a welcome recruitment (or a fair-weather fan), I hope that it is the former: few new acts connect with me on multiple plains- the Brisbane trio have caused some reassessment and reappraisal in me. It has been great to discover music from a different climb and walk: in addition to reconnecting with the fantastic passion Australian musicians possess, I have cleansed my mind from the traditional parables and subjects of Pink/Grunge/Indie etc.- something objective and redemptive has filled my ears. If you want to escape the caterwauling of the noisiest bands; step away from the woe-is-me subjects a lot of contemporaries provide; separate your attention from repressive themes, then The Updraft Imperative are a necessary and nuanced tonic: instilled with endless energy and Groove-Rock swagger, they have pulled off quite a feat. Having demurred from Christian-Rock for most of my life, I have been compelled to not only follow the band closely; I am going to have a listen and see what similar bands are offering. If you are a faithless listener, you will not witness epiphany or miracles- that is not what the trio are trying to achieve. They want their music to connect with as many people as they can; unite as many different people as possible, and above all, filter their appreciation and passion through music- showing just how much religion has made to them. Chair has surprised and amazed me (more than I was expecting); I have re-played many of the songs and found much to inspire my own creative process. I know the trio are getting love and airtime from London (and the U.K.), so if ever they decide to come and play London any time soon...
THEY can count me in
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