Christ’s Sake – “We All Fall Down”


WE ALLThumper Punk Records’ self-described “alternative punk” band Christ’s Sake return with their second release We All Fall Down and with it bring some changes to their sound.   The Santa Cruz, California band references the Orange County punk sound and has all the right punk influences listed that go along with that sound, including the Germs, pre-Rollins Black Flag, Descendents, Social Distortion, Adolescents, and TSOL.  The roots of Christ’s Sake also fall in line with singer and founder Lance Hendren and drummer Vince Morales formerly being members of the Huntington Beach band OCA.

Christ’s Sake first album (Christ’s Sake) was a bit of surprise for me in terms of sound as the band has a rather unique harmonized vocal arrangements and the music leaned more toward indie rock and alternative than punk.  We All Fall Down starts out in a decidedly different vein, with “Love Love” as it’s certainly a punk rock song complete with somewhat snotty tone in the vocals and an aggressive, rough guitar tone that clashes a bit with the harmonized vocals.  Subject matter is a shot aimed toward Christians who really don’t display the love of Christ, so the lyrics fit as well.  While the vocals may not be for everyone, they do work and make the sound a bit unique.  What I like in this song and in other songs on the album especially in the verses are hints of Jello Biafra sounds here and there as that adds significantly to the punk feel.

“By His Blood”  and “Sex Trafficking” continue in the roaring, loud punk rock feel and had me thinking the band had shifted their overall sound significantly from that on the first album.  Production and mixing is good and the guitars are perfectly loud and aggressive on these songs.  Then I came to “You Are” and the sound returns to that of the first album, which was more of the jangly guitar indie rock sound.  “My God” continues that trend but does have some guitars reminiscent a bit of Social Distortion but in general, these songs killed the momentum built up by the first three songs.  Thankfully, “So Sorry” has the band returning back to the guitar driven punk rock sound of earlier in the album.

Unfortunately for my ears at least, the sound changes back again in “What Have I Done” which sounds very much like an arena-rocking power ballad from the late 80’s and brings to mind swaying raised arms holding cigarette lighters or cell phones as the kids do now.  Things start moving back to traditional punk rock with “We All Fall Down”, “Mr. Heroin”, and “Rise Above” but this is where the harmonized vocals just don’t seem to carry the weight needed for these songs as I hear it as too polished and clean, lacking in the emotional intensity that I expect given the subject matter of the songs.

“Let’s Skate” as you might imagine given the subject matter is ultra-fast punk rock and has some cool bass lines running through the verse sections.  You can tell it’s a cool punk rock song as there are several transitions within the song and a lot of notes played but it clocks in well under 2 minutes.  “Welcome to the Warzone” with its discussion of our violent world  is likely the darkest song on the album and pulls no punches lyrically and has a decidedly different tone than many of the songs on the album.

The album closes out with “Praise the Lord”, which might bring to mind a cheery, happy, flowery song, but you’d be a bit wrong as this is a driving punk rock take on the subject.  Definitely a great track to close things out and in some sense describes this album.  On the surface you go into it with certain expectations and some fit what you expect, but other aspects of the album are a bit different than expected.

Rating: 6.5/10

Written by John Jackson

1.  Love Love
2.  By His Blood
3.  Sex Trafficking
4.  You Are
5.  My God
6.  So Sorry
7.  What Have I Done
8.  We All Fall Down
9.  Mr. Heroin
10.  Rise Above
11.  Let’s Skate
12.  Why
13.  Welcome to the Warzone
14.  Loved Me Straight
15.  Praise the Lord

Band Members:
Lance Hendren – Guitar, vocals
Vince Morales – Drums
Matt Kilian – Lead guitar
Matt Vangalapudi  – Bass guitar
Dillon Hendren – Backup vocals
Sandra Calvillo -Backup vocals

Record Label: Thumper Punk Records, July 2014

“Christ’s Sake” (2013) [review]
“We All Fall Down” (2014)

Weblinks: Facebook / Bandcamp

Video for ‘Love Love’


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