Thumper Punk Records has made available a recording by All Hail the King the worship band for Rise Above Ministries as a benefit for Pastor Skip Brooks’ family following his recent passing. The recording was previously only available at Cornerstone Festival in 2008 and as one might expect has a definite punk feel on these worship tracks.
Pastor Skip Brooks passed away on November 25, 2018 following a battle with cancer, a loss felt by many within the Christian punk scene as it is. I can still remember the first time I heard one of Skip’s bands, Our Corpse Destroyed, roaring through Black Flag’s “Rise Above”. Being a Black Flag fan since high school in the late 80’s, the opening bars of the song instantly grabbed my attention. As I followed the song and wandered into the sweaty, steamy tent at Cornerstone Festival, I was blown away with the whole scene, from the spot on performance, to the intensity that poured from the stage. I was hooked and just to make sure I wasn’t hearing things, I dragged others to their other sets and they were similarly blown away. To this day, my OCD albums are among my favorites as there’s no getting past that incredible punk rock guitar tone and lyrics that really hit home. I only really got to meet Skip once and that was just before his Crush the Enemy project became public and I still remember that chat and the sincerity in what he was saying. Skip was pastor at Rise Above Ministries in San Antonio and the songs on this tribute are a recording from All Hail the King, the worship team at Rise Above.
Just to make sure there are no surprises, the recording kicks off with the title track and literally explodes into a fast punk rock riff with multiple guitars adding some character and Johnny Rodriguez’ bass making its presence felt. The emotion in the song is unmistakeable and Jenni Brooks’ angleic voice serves as a nice foil to the other vocals. This is a worship song taken up a notch to the point where any fan of punk/hardcore walking by would stop to see what is going on. The raw feeling of the production adds quite a bit to the song and the raw guitar tone simply works.
“Holy of Holies” is a more straight forward punk rock song built around a hymn and is more melodic than “More Love More Power”. For those that enjoyed False Idle’s Hymns of Punk Rock Praise, some of the songs on this album would be best described as the old-school hardcore companion album to that classic. While Jenni Brooks’ angelic voice is featured on the majority of tracks, songs like “You Alone” feature male vocals that work equally well showing the overall talent in the band.
Regardless of your feelings around songs of praise and worship, the way the songs are constructed and the energy behind the performances make this benefit cd one worth picking up. From a historical perspective, most of these songs were distributed on a cd at Cornerstone Festival in 2008 and largely unavailable since then but this release also includes the previously unreleased track “I Run to You” that ends with quiet words from Pastor Skip. While it’s a challenge to really give a poor review to a benefit album, this one earns the accolades given, and best of all proceeds will go to offset the medical and funeral expenses of Pastor Skip.
Written by John Jackson
1. More Love More Power
2. Holy of Holies
3. In Your Presence
4. I’m Holding On
5. You Alone
6. I Have Decided
7. Song of Psalms
8. I Run to You
Jenni Brooks – Vocals
Danny Naselli – Drums
Matt Blow – Vocals & guitar
Johnny Rodriguez – Bass & vocals
Damian Munoz – Vocals & guitar
Release date: January 9, 2019
Record label: Thumper Punk Records, 2019