Day Of Fire broke onto the Christian rock scene in 2004 with their self-titled grunge-influenced debut effort. Fronted by Josh Brown, the ex-vocalist for secular act Full Devil Jacket, Day Of Fire turned a good number of heads, even managing to snag a Dove Award in the process for Rock Album of the Year at last year's GMA Music Awards. 2006 brings forth the band's sophomore project, Cut & Move, a record that marks the next steps in the band's growing participation in the Christian rock genre.
Cut & Move opens ferociously with the tasty riff-laden "Love," displaying plenty of growth from chord one, bearing a more modern rock flavor this time around with tighter intrumentation. With Day Of Fire's self-titled debut, the band seemed to be adding little new to the Christian rock industry, however, Cut & Move heads in a much stronger and noteworthy direction. Brown's vocals seem more confident and daring while the songs bear more lyrical interest. While Cut & Move still has somewhat of a grunge flavoring, it feels more up to speed with the current rock scene.
While "Love" rips forth with a catchy electric guitar riff, serving as proof Day Of Fire can rock hard, "Hole In My Hand" carries on the worshipful heart the band established with "Cornerstone" from their debut. While the latter was a radio friendly rock ballad, "Hole In My Hand" takes an edgier approach. And while the debut had its softer moments, "Hole..." is about as soft as Cut & Move gets, solidifying it as a true, unabashed rock record.
Lyrically, Cut & Move plays out much like a cry for help from above. Written with more of a heart to reach a mainstream audience, the songs are often written prayerfully, but seldom aren't too straightforward. However, it's plain as day Jesus is in Brown's line of sight as he cries, "With a hole in my hand, and a strength to my stand / With a flame in my heart, burn in me again" in "Hole In My Hand," or "When the light shines on my face the world becomes so small / When the night finds me this way I know I'm not alone / When the light shines on my face…" in the melodic "When The Light." Brown and crew infuse their songs with substance and food for thought, making Cut & Move memorable and satisfying.
If there's any problem that exists within the structure of Cut & Move, its the repetition inside nearly every song on the record that seems to rob the album of the greatness it strives for. The song structure is simplistic at times, albeit catchy and entirely listenable, with the chorus often repeated one too many times. This poses a problem for songs like "When The Light," "Reborn," and the otherwise infectious "Frustrating." Perhaps a few added verses or bridges could have broken up the repetition enough to strengthen a few of the more problematic songs.
Those who had trouble warming up to the debut just might find something to like about Cut & Move. While its biggest drawback is the presence of some overly repetitious songwriting at times, Cut & Move remains to be a solid sophomore effort that easily bests the band's debut and just might simply be one of the finer rock offerings you'll find this Summer.- Review date: 6/4/06, written by John DiBiase
Click here for Cut & Move Lyrics
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