Perfecta by Adam Again

perfectaADAM AGAIN

1995 Brainstorm
Review by: Matt Crosslin

Perfecta is the rawest and (at times) loudest Adam Again disc. One reviewer even called it “the book of Job of music.” This would be a very apt description. Gene’s voice is pretty desperate at places here – whether he is asking himself what to do when the electricity goes out at his studio or expressing his sorrow over the main pains of life. There is still humor to be found scattered throughout the album. In “Harsh,” you can hear a hint of sarcastic laughter when he sings “now be a dear and leave me alone.””He is basically telling someone to go away… but he also finds something funny in the way he says it.

Heavy on Gene’s heart at the time of this album was his recent divorce, but that is not all. Themes of loss slip in to many of the songs on the album. Much of the carefully crafted word play from Dig is gone, but the lyrics here are still deep and confessional even if they aren’t twisting your tongue at the same time.

Perfecta was said to have been recorded live in the studio, during what Gene referred to as a “three-year jam session.” That would probably be the best way to describe the whole album – an intense jam recorded while all the players involved were living and/or discussing some of the harder parts of life.

Dig by Adam Again


1992 Brainstorm
Review by: Matt Crosslin

This is where it started for me with Adam Again… the first album of theirs that I ever heard. This album, along with L.S.U.’s The Grape Prophet and Pray Naked by The 77s, also helped me transition from a diehard metal-head punk to a person with well-rounded musical tastes. Something about those guitar tones just really connected with me, but it was the well-crafted lyrics and excellent song structures that kept bringing me back time and time again. This is still the classic Adam Again album that I recommend as a starting point for anyone that is not familiar with the band.

And this really is a band effort where everyone shines. As a bass player, I have to point out the excellent bass lines from Paul Valdez that are everywhere. But lets not forget the skillful six-string work of Greg Lawless and Gene Eugene. Gene’s voice is it’s classic mournful self here, contrasted nicely by Riki Michele. Jon Knox also continues his solid drum work on his second album with the band.

As many friends of Gene have said, he agonized over the lyrics. He never wanted to have throw away lyrics. The lyrics on this album are just packed full of meaning, if you care to dig in (pun not intended). The first song tells you what to expect from the get-go: “Deep.” I can’t pick out a favorite song, because I love them all; nor can I point out any weak songs – because there isn’t one at all. You can find it for a few dollars on for now… but I’m voting for a re-issue… if anyone out there is keeping score….

Homeboys by Adam Again

homeboysADAM AGAIN

1990 Broken Records
Review by: Steve Ruff

This is one of my favorite records that Adam Again did. With each release these guys grew as a band and you can hear the depth come through on every release. Again, for me, Gene’s lyrics were always genius. The songs that he chose to cover really conveyed a message and a theme that one typically did not hear anyone else tackling in the Christian scene at the time. The cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues” is amazing. “Homeboys,” the title track, is a reflection of Gene’s youth and where he grew up, but there is also a undercurrent that always speaks to me of racial equality in that song. “Bad News on the Radio” is one of the most descriptive stories that conveys emotion and really drives it home to the listener… I have always thought that track was unparalleled. Riki Michele, Steve Hindalong and Terry Taylor also contributed lyrics here, as well as the band welcoming Jon Knox on the drums. “This Band Is Our House” speaks to the cohesiveness of the band and how they were a family… “No Regrets” is really haunting at this point, a very final and sad way to close out the record. Musically the band sounds very tight and together. Dan Michael’s sax playing was always so unique to the band, and gave them a flavor unlike any other groups that were out there. All in all, one of the best releases (in my opinion), and a sort of guide for the direction that the band was heading.

Ten Songs by Adam Again


1988 Broken Records
2002 Lo-Fidelity Records
Review by: Steve Ruff

Ten Songs was originally released in 1988, and then re-released in 2002 through Lo-Fidelity Records. A definite classic that is probably the hardest to find anywhere. While still recorded with programmed drums, this record was a definite step away from their first release. Ten songs just sounds much more cohesive to me. This is where I think Gene’s lyrics really started to come into their own and shine. While still “Christian” in perspective and reflection, themes here include equality, honesty, consequence and longing. I think this record is where Greg’s guitar playing really starts to come to the front and have a chance to shine as well. My favorite thing about this album was that lyrics like these were truly unique at this point in the Christian music scene. Gene had the ability to really challenge the listener and make them think. A definite ‘alternative’ release. Good luck finding this one if you don’t already have it. Sometimes you can find the cassette on eBay, and if you do, snatch it up and just convert it to digital.

“Today if I called you
Would you tell me I’m wrong,
With the way I’ve come to believe
Will I ever belong ?”… “Eyes Wide Open”

In a New World of Time by Adam Again

newworldADAM AGAIN

1986 Blue Collar Records
Review by: Steve Ruff

The first release by the band who would become a staple in alternative Christian music. This is by far the most varied record that AA put out. Dating all the way back to 1986… but it was still unique and different for its time. This one is chock full of every genre you can imagine… R&B, rock, funk, soul and pop. The band sounds bright, fluid and full of life. To me Gene’s voice sounds a bit different then the other recordings that came later. This one would also be the most “Christian” release that they did with the majority of the songs centered on Christ or biblical issues. I’m not saying that the other releases are not “Christian,” this one is just more overt in that sense. Also, the cover art was done by the amazing, and now deceased, folk artist Howard Finister. If you don’t have this one it is still available through The Choir’s website as a download – – This is the only release that I know of that is still available outside of places like eBay, but you should also keep an eye on eBay as you can generally find it on CD and vinyl. The programmed drums here also give this a very ‘80’s feel. A worthy first offering by a band that still stands apart from the crowd.

Prayers & Lowsongs by Greg Lawless

posted in: January 2009, Music Review | 0

greg-lawless1GREG LAWLESS

2000 Galaxy 21 Music
Purchase: eBay
Review by: Steve Ruff

Greg Lawless is perhaps best known as the guitar player in Adam Again, but this solo effort was completely different from what you heard from him in the band. Lawless actually recorded this solo album before Gene Eugene passed away in 2000. It wasn’t released until the Gene Eugene Cornerstone Tribute CD came out and was included as a ’bonus’ disc. Greg’s playing with the band has always been flawless and unique, but his solo record is straight acoustic and somewhat pensive. The lyrics are poetic in every sense, and the topics range from fatherhood to faith to the never-ending love that God has for his children. This was much different than what I expected, but I genuinely appreciate this record and believe that Lawless was allowed to really shine here with his playing and singing. The listener is treated to Greg solo, and he stands well by himself. I wish that he had more solo albums available, but so far this is it… hopefully there will be more on the horizon, and hopefully soon. This one is out of print so eBay might be the best place to find it. Just look for the Gene Eugene Cornerstone 2000 Tribute (see cover on the left) and put it in, push play, sit back, pay attention and enjoy.

Dial M by Starflyer 59

posted in: January 2009, Music Review | 0

dial-mSTARFLYER 59

2008 Tooth & Nail
Review by: Matt Crosslin

This Starflyer disc has been a long time coming.  Twenty songs were originally recorded by Jason Martin and company and released on ten seven inch vinyl discs as the Ghosts of the Future box set.  Ten of the best songs from that box set were chosen for this album and re-recorded.  And then a bonus track appeared on the Vinyl and mp3 version of this album on top of all that.  The result is one of the most diverse albums SF59 has put out to date.

I listened to SF59’s debut disc the other day for comparison.  While I love Silver, it is still a very dense disc sound-wise (probably the reason I like it so much).  Compared to Silver, Dial M is full of space and life.  Jason Martin’s songwriting has expanded with every album, and this one is no different.

While this won’t become my favorite SF59 disc, it is quality and it rocks.  There are some good rhythms on this disc, like in “Concentrate,” “Minor Keys,” “Taxi,” and “Automatic.”  But there are also some really beautiful songs like “The Brightest of the Head” and “Mr. Martin.”  If you like the direction that SF59 has been taking over the last few albums, this disc is right up your alley.

Darn Floor, Big Bite Re-issue by Daniel Amos

posted in: January 2009, Music Review | 0


2008 Arena Rock Recording Co.
Review by: Steve Ruff

The end of 2008 saw the re-release of D.A.’s classic album Darn Floor, Big Bite. This is Daniel Amos at their finest. Their website says, “Coming November 25, 2008! The classic album that remains the favorite among many DA fans is finally returning to CD! This Deluxe 2 disc Edition includes new artwork & packaging, 20 pages of liner notes and photos, a brand new interview with Terry Taylor, remastered audio and never-before-heard bonus material!” Obviously, there is a lot of stuff here. This original release had 10 tracks that ran the gamut of D.A.’s unclassifiable style. The line up here consisted of Terry Taylor, Ed McTaggart, Tim Chandler and Greg Flesch. This is a truly alternative album, and perhaps more consistent musically than many other D.A. releases. This was originally released in 1987 on Frontline Records, and one of my favorite things about this album is the choir that sings on the song, “The Shape Of Air,” which closes out the record. The choir consisted of Gene Eugene, Riki Michele, Mike Stand, Ric Alba and Jeff Crandall, as well as others. This was also the first time that Gene and Terry had done studio work together, which makes it even more special. I don’t know if there are ’stand out’ tracks here, because really the entire album is amazing. If you have never listened to D.A., this is a great introduction. If you already have the original release, pick up the re-master and give it a spin.

The Now and the Not Yet by Motonaut

posted in: January 2009, Music Review | 0


2008 Independent
Review by: Steve Ruff

I first heard about these guys when they sent Down The Line a friend request on MySpace. If I remember correctly they were Michael Knott fans and said something to that effect on their request. I checked out their MySpace page and thought they were pretty cool. Then Matt sent me the CD that they have. This is a short offering, but I really, really like this disc. This release is entitled The Now and The Not Yet, and contains 4 tracks that are described on their site as minimalist, thoughtful, experimental and electro pop. When I first saw ‘electro pop’ I thought of Joy Electric. I’m not knocking Ronnie Martin either, but I can only listen to so much Joy Electric before it all starts sounding the same. Motonaut is different. The singing is upfront and the music does not overpower at all. The music adds a nice, dreamy background and gives a chance for the vocals to stand out. The mix of his (Mike Indest) and her (Jesse Maizlish) vocals together are complimentary and relaxing. The harmonies are precise, and the lyrics are thought provoking and meaningful. Definitely check this disc out, hopefully they will be releasing a full length sometime in the near future.

Umbra by The Sound Gallery

posted in: January 2009, Music Review | 0

sound-galleryTHE SOUND GALLERY

2008 Independent
Purchase: MySpace
Review by: Steve Ruff

The Sound Gallery is unique. This is Herb Grimaud Jr.’s band, and he is the sole member. I remembered Herb from when he played with The Violet Burning several years ago. I didn‘t know what to expect from the music, but the stuff I heard on MySpace was so different from anything else that is out there. I bought all three albums and chose to review this one because it was the latest. All three are good, but Umbra might be my favorite. Umbra means “a region of complete shadow resulting from total obstruction of light”. The music reflects this in that it is sonically dark, sparse and sounds like something that you would hear recorded from the depths of underwater, or maybe even outer space. I say that it’s dark, but it is also quiet, ethereal, lush and full sounding. It is instrumental and quite honestly it’s also very hard to describe. According to Herb’s MySpace page he says, “I like turning knobs and pushing buttons to see what kind of sounds they will make.” He describes his band as “ambient, experimental, noisy and sometimes beautifully out of tune.” Whatever you call it, however you classify it, pick it up and listen to it. It really is that good. You could expect something this unique from someone whose influences include Martin Luther, John Calvin and Tom Savini.