Sunday, August 12, 2007

Blenderhead - Prime Candidate For Burnout (1994)

This is, in my opinion, the quintessential Christian hardcore punk release. Not "Sin Disease" by Scaterd Few (a great album in its own right), not either album by Fluffy, not anything by Crashdog, and not anything by Lust Control. No, this is the most angry, vitriolic punk album I've heard in the Christian scene, though I can say it is truly righteous anger displayed here, rather than just naked rage.

This album was one of 2 punk albums I bought the summer between my junior & senior years in high school. I had just started listening to punk (other than Greenday or the Offspring on the radio), and I purchased this, and MxPx's debut Pokinatcha. While I liked the raw, pop-punk sound of Pokinatcha (& still prefer it to most of MxPx's later output), this album absolutely blew me away. From the fun, literal cover art to the insane music inside, this album smokes. Every song tackles some spiritual, religious, or socio-political topic in an upfront, honest manner. "Power Trip" talks about how politicians lust for power, "Bottle Breaker" talks about humility & how we should be thankful God wishes to use us for His work, "Alcohol House" is a powerful song about an abusive, alcoholic husband/wife relationship (told from the viewpoint of the husband - chilling!), "Purgatory" is about non-conformity, "Spare Change" is about homelessness, and "National Drug" is about how, regardless of your religious, spiritual, social, or political affiliation, anyone within that affiliation that is in the public eye has an agenda, whether you believe it or not. After all, we're all human, and we all have motives, whether they're part of God's will or not.

All in all, this is a monster album that EVERY Christian punk fan should own. It's loud, raucous, fast, heavy, has good guitar work (especially for punk music), and will just rock your face off. "Prime Candidate For Burnout" should be on every punk fan's short list as a top album. Blenderhead (unfortunately) took things down a notch with their 2nd album, "Muchacho Vivo", and reportedly moved in an "At the Drive-In" direction w/ their 3rd & final album, "Figureheads on the Forefront of Pop Culture". However, if you looking for pure punk fury, look no further.


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