One thing Showbread fans know is that these guys are anything but conventional. Don’t just assume you know what to expect from their music … with Showbread it’s expect the unexpected. Case in point, their new album, “Who Can Know It?”, which released in November on the nonprofit and ministry focused organization, Come&Live!. The band made some headlines last summer when they started a Kickerstarter campaign to raise money to record the album and met their goal within the very first week. Not to mention raising two and a half times what they needed for the album over the course of the campaign, proving that fans were more than anticipating some new tunes from these guys! The result was a free album and a totally free tour, a first for the band! You might be surprised to know that the normally post-hardcore sound that has defined Showbread from the beginning is virtually absent on this new album in favor of a more mellow sound. I know … mellow and Showbread don’t usually belong in the same sentence, eh? But it definitely works on this release.
“Who Can Know It?”, you may have guessed, takes its title from Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” This theme definitely runs through the whole album.
The guys jump right into addressing these matters on the brutally honest (though I don’t think there’s a track on here that isn’t brutally honest) album opener, “A Man With A Hammer”. The mid-tempo track has a great rock drum beat and piano in the background, as well as an awesome guitar driven bridge. This is a song that talks about how ugly humanity can be but how still God’s love is there to set us free. Just to give you a little a taste of the honesty I’m talking about check out this verse, “A woman with lots of money who’s plans are left in doubt because of the baby in her womb so she pays to have it’s brain sucked out. A man in desperation, a woman in his bed she doesn’t want to make love so she’ll get raped instead.“ I know you’re probably thinking “wow, when she said honest I didn’t really expect that.” … as I said, brutally honest. Current single, “I Never Liked Anyone And I’m Afraid Of People” (great title huh? ;P) is up next. A song about forgetting the person you where before you came to know Christ. It’s one of the more rock sounding songs on the album and definitely makes you want to rock out.
“Dear Music” is a slower piano based track that’s a bittersweet ode to music as Josh sings of having lost interest in most of it. Concluding though that the common ground still lies in singing “to the one who made us both, for he is wonderful”, the end of the song feels very worshipful as that line is repeated. “Deliverance” is a mid-tempo, guitar driven rock song that states,“Jesus deliver us from our raging pride, the things we say we say we do in your name. With all our vengeance, votes and picket signs and guns, we put the love you came to bring to shame.” A song about the behaviors that we as Christians can tend to carry that are so damaging, but wanting to lay them down to truly follow Christ.
The guys slow things down with the contemplative, “The Prison Come Undone”. I love the lyrics to this song, they sound very confessional, as Josh sings of failing to control anger, “I hear when Jesus tells me that I need to bite my tongue and my teeth, they try to cage it, but the prison come undone”. It’s a very relatable song and Josh sings it beautifully. The last line of it is one of my favorites on the album, “If you still want to love me it won’t come without a cost, the fight to be much better is a fight I’ve often lost”.
Can’t help but love the controversial sounding title of the rockin’ but short tune, “Myth Of A Christian Nation”. Yes, it’s just like Showbread to go there, “I’m tired of being filed into classrooms and made to sit in pews, made subject to the tyranny of scriptures you abuse. And handed guns to march along like patriotic clowns believing anything that we’re told and gunning anybody down.” This is one of my favorites on the album! Opening with a great rock guitar riff, you know this is one you can rock out to! “You’re Like A Taxi” slows things down a bit, it’s a song that speaks of not being afraid of death if you know Christ,”Gone is not the word for someone who finally found his way back home”.
The album comes to a close with the epic 11 minute song “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All”, which starts out with an industrial sound and synthesizers. This song feels soft yet dramatic, it paints such a picture; the lyrics are so amazing! It speaks of discovering truths of Christ despite people who would rather keep them hidden for their own agenda. The song builds at the end as Josh sings the beautiful lyrics, “I walk away from everything and find myself made free. In all the tangles of who I am the truth is that you love me, just as I was, just as I am, just as I will be. In all the tangles of who I am the truth is that you love me”. It kind of sums it all up doesn’t it? Can’t think of better words to end the journey of this album.
“Who Can Know It?” is a different type of album for Showbread. And while I will admit that it was a little hard for me to get used to the more mellow side of the guys, the more I listened to this album the more I loved it! The band has seen many changes lately with a new sound; new label, first free album and tour, and membership changes, but still the musicianship sounds as tight as ever. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I so believe that Josh Dies is one of the best and most underrated songwriters in the industry. The creativity and honesty in the lyrics he writes is beyond inspiring to me. I’ve always admired Showbread for having the incredible ability to rock your face off while still remaining so ministry focused. It truly shows that their first priority is to glorify God. Be sure to check out this album, to do so just go to http://comeandlive.com/downloads, where you can download it for free! May Raw Rock kill forever! ;)