Fans of Christian music from the nineties won't be unfamiliar with the name Eric Champion. With seven solo records under his belt, Champion is anything but your average new indie artist frontman. While taking a break from music for a few years to work for Full Sail, a school for the arts, Champion teamed up with several talented guys who share the same vision for music and formed the Florida-based band Rook. Boasting numerous Brit pop influences including OK GO, Self, Ima Robot, Luna Halo, Jellyfish, Blur, and Radiohead, Rook makes their recording debut with the Bad Memory EP.
Synths and electronic effects accompanying Champion's signature smooth, moody vocals open the EP's title track. When the harmonies break for the chorus, one familiar with Champion's previous work can't help but get the feeling Rook will be a continuation of his solo career. However, it's the quirky and unashamedly upbeat "Let It Go" that really takes a new direction. The strongly Brit-pop influenced and ferociously catchy track is an acquired taste, and is appropriately followed-up by the raucous "Show The Way." But Rook's shining moments really come in their slower and more emotional moments, especially notable in the final track, "Last Chance." Lyrically, the sensitive and honest song addresses coping with pain, prayerfully seeking a heavenly resolution, "Can you hear me cry / Will you answer why / I gotta find a better way / To deal with the hurt /... And my last chance is you / Lord, it's all up to you..."
The Bad Memory EP is a bold debut from a most promising new band in Christian music. Fans of Brit pop should indeed check out this project, then join me in eagerly anticipating Rook's full-length debut slated for this Fall...- Review date: 5/15/05, written by John DiBiase
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