Some bands just seem too novel to have staying power. Such was the case when Showbread released
No Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical in late 2004. Playing a style of music they labeled as "raw rock,"
Showbread attacked stages nationwide with matching tight red pants, black shirts, keytars, and adrenaline
like no other band in the general market. Their debut was intense, fun, catchy, and raucous. They featured
two vocalists: Josh Dies handled most of the singing, and Ivory Mobley put the "raw" in "raw rock" with his
screeching, "one pitch" screams. It was a formula that workedÖ for one record. I will readily admit to
thinking of Showbread as one in a plethora of "one hit wonder" bands that would disappear off the map as fast
as you could say "dead by dawn."
I was wrong. Somehow Showbread has kept their "raw rock" persona without compromising growth and maturity
on their sophomore effort Age of Reptiles. The new record is a lot less aggressive and a lot more
melodic, but still edgy enough to be classified as rock Ďn roll. In fact, "rock Ďn roll" defines it a whole
lot better than "raw rock" does. Mobley does a lot less screaming, and Dies gets a lot more solo time. The
whole thing just sounds a lot more straight-forward, honest, and likeable. Youíll be bobbing your head,
tapping your feet, and singing along to most every track. Itís darn near danceable.
Like No SirÖ, Age of Reptiles takes a sarcastic look at our culture, but with a more of
an emphasis on the solution this time. Indeed, we are the "reptiles" that the album title references, in need
of shedding our skin. The album closer sums the record up well, speaking directly to Jesus, and asking
forgiveness for all the various reptiles, "You wrap Your loving arms around this wretched thing called me.
Your love is all Iíll ever need. Your love has set me free. The Truth is only You."
The lesson to be learned here? Never write a band off. Showbread has pleasantly surprised me with Age
of Reptiles. What could have been an energetic-yet-altogether-mundane second piece of work is actually
one of the catchiest, smartest releases of the year. Showbread has taken a step of faith that fans will
believe in their new direction. And I know I donít count for much as somewhat of a deserter, but for what
itís worth, I canít get this one off of repeat.
- Review date: 7/30/06, written by Josh Taylor