Most bands have that one debut album from forever ago that no one has ever heard of (Underoath's Act of Depression and Kids in the Way's [EP], for example). Hawk Nelson's Saturday Rock Action could fall into that category due to the band's overshadowing national release Letters to the President, although the album isn't actually that old, it was only released in '03.
For a debut album, Saturday... is an excellent start. Hawk creates a punk pop/rock atmosphere without being clichť about it. The record is somewhat short when it comes to lyrical content, but what is there speaks truth. It lacks most stereotypical punk-band-debut rough spots. Clocking in at only 8 tracks and about 23 minutes, the album isn't very long, but thankfully little of it is wasted.
Saturday... kicks off with the 45 second aptly-named opener "The Grand Introduction." The next track, "Overwhelmed," boasts a deeper (almost Scott Stapp like) vocal style with some honest lyrics, "Cause I can feel you change my heart/ You've overwhelmed me from the start." "Eighty-Six That" is a song of thankfulness to God for always being there, while "As I Was" is a typical song-about-a-girl. "Return To Me" is a touching rock ballad of commitment to God (and God's commitment in return). Words like, "I'm crying out, this is my prayer/ I gave my word and this I swear/ I'll follow you cause you've promised me" let you know that these guys are serious about what they sing about. The album closes with a calming acoustic remake of "Sheridan," complete with female vocals in the background.
As a debut few have heard about, Saturday Rock Action has a lot to offer. To the die-hard Hawk Nelson fan it could be seen as gold, but it might not appeal to everyone. Some of the songs seem slightly lacking in audio quality, and some of the music might seem somewhat dull compared to what the band has recently released, but the music still shines through nonetheless. "Lying in my ocean/ Thinking of his subtle notions/ Waiting to hear from the winds of your heart," these are words you wouldn't hear on a typical punk band's debut.
Saturday Rock Action is a must-have for Hawk Nelson fans or anyone who likes music written by serious Christians. It's always touching to find a band that isn't afraid to sing about what they believe without watering it down, and Hawk Nelson fits this mold. Because it was an independent release, the actual album is extremely difficult to find anywhere, and those who have it probably aren't planning on letting it go any time soon.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 3/17/06, written by Daniel David Straite for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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