Few bands have it all, as many things come into play to make them "great". There's the look, the production, and don't forget the all-important music as well as all the other things I won't waste time in mentioning. Sanctus Real, hailing from Toledo, Ohio, doesn't have it all. They don't have a major record deal, but this seems to put an end to the not-have list almost before it starts. The rock star look is apparent when you first take a look at their promo shots. The production is more than evident with Grammy nominated Skidd Mills at the helm who has worked with the likes of Audio Adrenaline, Sister Hazel, and BB King to name a few. Oh yeah, the music…
Nothing to Lose starts off on the right foot with the track of the same title. This song leads the way with dirty guitar riffs that catch your attention and before you know it, a chorus hits that you'll be singing along to before realizing what's going on. "Won't Walk Away" comes up next with a somewhat delayed chorus to keep up with each guitar chord. After hearing this song, you'll see this is one thing lacking on radio songs of today with an old Buddy Holly type feel. "Other Side" has pop written all over it from beginning to end as Jars of Clay come to mind which could be a sure break on the contemporary charts. Next up is "Captain's Chair." I thought the song was great but the words "captain's chair" drew me away for a minute until the chorus kicked in to lead me back on track.
"Inside Out" is arguably the most blatant spiritual song on the album with a chorus saying, "Lord, I fear I'm drowning here for an audience of one. And all I know is what I've been told- that there's something yet to come." "All I Want" is something new for me. The middle of the chorus switches vocal arrangements but ends with sweet rock. "Overflow", "The Way You Wanted", and "Message" are alright but I can't even begin to compare them with prior songs on the record. Ending the album are two worship-filled rock ballads. "Craving" highlights the amazing writing skills of lead singer Matt Hammitt. "May my kingdoms fall to You. Build my walls up with Your truth. No foundations made from sand- only on Your Rock I'll stand, with all my strength- with all I am." "After Today," the last track is also incredible; it's a perfect finishing touch.
This is the band's third album after being together for a good five years. I have to say, though, that there is nothing indie or local about these guys but their label. The only weak points are because of such excellent songs, the three bad ones stand out even more. I wish the two mellow ballads weren't side by side either. With one break, these boys would no doubt hit it big. Fans of The Calling, Lifehouse, Nine Days, Matchbox 20, and others of the same genre will absolutely love this album. I wouldn't doubt that there are more hits here than most of those bands anyway. Diversity plays a key roll on the success as I was surprised by the turns that the music took. You will be surprised when you hear this amazing CD. You've got nothing to lose.- Review date: 12/15/01, written by Blake Garris
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