Dizmas has been a slow yet constant positive in the Christian alt/rock scene, even though their debut On a Search In America didn't garner much success. Tension, their second effort, which released last year, was much better with stronger hooks and more catchy tracks on the record as a whole. This third, self-titled record is more of a repackaging of the band, including five cuts from Tension, one cut from the band's debut, and four new tracks.
While re-releases are getting old really quick, more bands are getting the right idea and putting out EPs or including more extras on re-releases than just one or two extra songs or demo versions of featured songs. However, Dizmas' self-titled release seems completely irrelevant and unneeded, considering the mild success of Tension. It seems that Forefront merely wants to repackage the band with more of a pop/rock or alternative feel, rather than the harder rock persona they previously represented. The best songs from Tension are included on this repackaged album, however, including "Jealousy Hurts," "Shake It Off," "Dance," and "Play It Safe." The only track from their debut comes in the form of "Redemption, Passion, Glory," which gets a bit of a remix in the process, while other songs like "Let This One Stay" have been surprisingly left off. It would have been nice to see some more songs from the first record, even if it was mediocre as a whole.
The new songs, "Yours," "Save The Day," "Different," and "Worth Fighting For" are all stripped down from Dizmas' original sound heard with their debut. While both America and Tension had its harder moments, the new songs don't have much to offer in that department, and can be brushed off as radio singles. "Yours" is currently the newest single, and makes for a friendly introduction to the band, yet loses listeners in the monotonous chorus. The acoustic format of "Save The Day" just seems off for a band like Dizmas, as well as "Different," which makes the band feel as if they're pushing for a worship style (or perhaps the label is pushing for them to come off that way?). "Worth Fighting For" has a bizarre off-beat chorus that just doesn't seem to work for the band at all.
In the end, if you own either Dizmas' debut or Tension, this release is quite unnecessary (plus you can just pick out the four new songs on iTunes separately). If you've never given Dizmas a chance, I would start by picking up Tension before spending your money on this repackaged album. The four extra songs aren't enough to warrant buying it, and the entire record feels too processed and fabricated.- Review date: 5/28/08, written by Justin Mabee of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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