Fear God – God Bless the World, Not Just America


Thumper Punk Records has become synonymous with punk rock with a Christian perspective and their latest release from Fear God, God Bless the World, Not Just America, certainly fits with the rest of their catalog. One of the unique aspects to this release is that it’s a solo project to the extreme, just one band member.

The punk rock life can certainly be a tough one to survive and Doug Jutras has likely seen more than his fair share of rough situations. Being on his own since the age of 13 and learning tough lessons about fast living and drug use firsthand, Doug felt it was time for a change and turned to Jesus to bring some clarity back into his life. Fear God is his project with a goal to inspire and encourage others who are searching for that same clarity that saved him. Growing up in the Orange County punk scene certainly will influence your taste in music and Fear God reflects much of Orange County punk bands, drawing influences from Social Distortion, TSOL, the Damned, and Call to Glory.

The album opens up with “He Forgets” for which there is also a video. There is a bit of a difference between the album and the video in that the video includes a clip of some preaching, while the album version just has a long bass and drum part that had me wondering if the song was finished or not. The inclusion of the preaching clip sums up much of this album for me in that it is very up front and focused on preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, directness like this will limit the appeal of this release. As a further example, the second song “Love God” starts out with a chant of “Love God, praise God, Jesus, I love you!”. Definitely, fitting lyrics given the title of the song, but possibly a bit too up front and forceful for some to take seriously.

Overall, the music is mostly pure, unadulterated punk rock with no frills and a definite Southern California feel in terms of song structure and style. One surprising influence I picked up is in the song “What am I doing here?”, which is a very un-punk rock-like five minutes long. The song has slower sections with almost spoken lyrics and then abrupt changes into ultra-fast sections, sounding very much like “Institutionalized” by Suicidal Tendencies, even the point of a comment at the end of the song similar to Mike Muir from ST adding “I’ll probably get hit by a car anyways” and the end of Institutionalized (or “the insurance money’s about to run out anyways”). There seems to be something missing from the vocals, maybe a stronger sense of emotion or urgency. The conviction is there in the lyrics, but that doesn’t seem to translate well through the vocals.

Two of the tracks on the cd just don’t seem to fit very well with the rest of the cd. “Kelly Testimony” is simply what the title describes, it is a six minute testimony of one person’s journey to find Jesus and is set against a backdrop of acoustic/ambient music. Being in the middle of the album, it takes away some of the momentum built up from the previous songs. The album ends with “Happy Birthday Dad”, which is an almost country-western style birthday song. Again seems a bit out of place, but it is at the end so it is not as disruptive to the overall listening experience.

From a production standpoint, the album is raw punk rock, and a bit too raw for my liking. There’s an echo in some of the vocals, for instance in “Love God”, and overall the guitar seems too indistinct, almost overpowered at times by the drums and bass. Fear God is assembling a full band, so it will be interesting to see how the other influences will come into play with the music.

Rating: 5/10

Written by John Jackson

1. He Forgets
2. Love God
3. What Am I Doing Here
4. Devil’s Mark
5. Can’t U Be There
6. Kelly Testimony
7. God Bless the World
8. Closer He Gets to You
9. Dying World
10. Always Be There
11. I Don’t Win
12. Happy Birthday Dad

Band Members
Doug Jutras – music and vocals

Record Label: Thumper Punk Records, Nov. 2012

Weblinks: Facebook

Buy the album here:
Holland & Worldwide: 
First Paradox Metalrecords

Video Below: He Forgets

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