They've been around for years (9 to be exact), but first gained attention with their 1997 release Sleepy-Head which featured their bizarre hit single, "Jeffrey Dahmer Went to Heaven." Their rock music is unique. Sort of like a Grover Levy meets MxPx meets Bleach.
El Grande kicks of in a grand way with "All the Way," a song which boldly informs the listener where the band stands "A little bit of Jesus goes a long, long way/ A little more love in the world today/ Take His time, take His day/ He'll take our worries, He'll take our pain/ A little bit of Jesus goes a long, long way/... Let's go all the way."
Although "Amy They Tell Me" may sound like a run-of-the-mill rock song, it isn't. "Amy Montgomery was a young girl here in Witchita who was murdered in a sandwich shop," explains Jamie Woodson, the band's vocalist and guitarist. "This guy came in to rob the place and killed her. As it turns out, another girl who used to work there knew the killer and had asked Amy to pray for him. So, unbeknownst to Amy or her killer, the man was on her prayer list! If only we could all pray for our enemies, known or unknown to us, like Jesus commanded us to do. I have a hard enough time praying for people I like. It's a tribute to her and a lesson to all of us."
With songs like "Amy They Tell Me" and "All the Way," the band's growth musically, lyrically, and spiritually has become apparent. However, the band still manages to have some fun. This is evident on "Snowfort," as well as "Pete's a Rocket Star," which is part 2 of "Pete's a Rocket Scientist" which was on Sleepy-Head. Their bassist Kurt Starks comments on the latter song, "In the first part, he's an outsider who doesn't fit in. With part two, he's made the big time but doesn't like what it's made him. Maybe in Part 3, he'll find God. Who knows? We'll have to talk to George Lucas, I guess..."
It's a solid rock album with a solid message. More grand than Sleepy-Head, El Grande is a step in the right direction for this Room Full of Walters.- Review date: 7/10/00, written by John DiBiase
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