Weekends Are For Vinyl: Ressurection Band’s 1980 album Colours
(Each week, writer Andrew Livingstone combs through the dusty racks of vinyl at record stores, thrift shops, garage sales and anywhere else hidden treasures and forgotten gems might lurk, and brings us his findings.)
– by Andrew Livingstone
This record popped up in a box of vinyl that had died, rotted and returned to the earth. At least it should have. It was a dusty box underneath a table at a weekly flea market in the tiny country town of Courtice, Ont. The album cover certainly wasn’t what made me want to spend the loonie on it. It reminded me of a Flock of Seagulls album – not a big sell.
It was, however, the photos of the band on the back that had me sold on it. The scraggly, long hair, the unkempt beards and the husband and wife duo at the forefront of the band on vocals – this was all it took for my gut instinct to chime in, “Yep, dude, you’ve gotta take the chance on this.”
Before reading up on the history of Resurrection Band, I dropped the needle; I thought it was only fair to listen without any predisposition on the artist and music. Thirty seconds into the first song I had to check the label to make sure I wasn’t listening to Black Sabbath or some other guitar-laden, drum-smashing ’70s metal band.
No, it was Resurrection Band. The first side of this record was loaded with songs that could’ve easily been found on a Judas Priest record, and containing shades of Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and even Foghat. Heavy-hitting drums, blazing guitar solos and energized, vocals with well-placed harmonies are all over the tunes. “Autograph”, the lead track on the 10-song album, is laced with power-riff guitar and attention-grabbing vocals from lead singer Glenn Kaiser.
The next track, the title song, was a bit of a downer. The vocals sounded off key and lacked any coherence with the band’s thumping metal-centric noodling. But once past the second track, the remaining eight come at you fast and furious.
But what turned out to be a bigger surprise than the music: Resurrection Band is a Christian rock band.
I’m not a religious man, but the combination of heavy metal music and righteous lyrics make sweet music, at least in the hands of Resurrection Band. One of the first Christian rock bands to come out with guns blazin’ with the sounds of heathens like Sabbath, Resurrection Band faced backlash from Christian groups in the U.S., and from the world of gospel music itself.
Eventually, RB came to be accepted as pioneers in connecting with disenfranchised Christian youth who felt they couldn’t relate to gospel music or the Bible (well duh! How many 15-year-olds like to rock out to the newest gospel track to hit number one on the charts?)
Religion aside – this album is kick ass in it’s own right. Musically, it’s a tight work of heavy metal art during a time when bands were trying to find an original sound in a saturated pool of wannabes. Resurrection Band does just that.
Andrew is a full-time reporter with Metroland Media, part-time freelance writer, music lover, aspiring DJ and lover of all things vinyl – except siding.