|Musical Style: Hard Rock||Produced By: Resurrection Band|
|Record Label: Star Song||Country Of Origin: USA|
|Year Released: 1978||Artist Website: Resurrection Band|
|Tracks: 10||Rating: 75%|
|Running Time: 37:09|
Forming on December 12, 1971, Resurrection Band came out of the Jesus Movement in Milwaukie, Wisconsin before it relocated to Chicago and became a musical outreach in both the and disciplining sense for the Jesus People USA community. Initially known as Charity and playing a mostly acoustic set, the band went full bore rock and roll within six months, a style then considered heavy metal but now known as straightforward hard rock. With a change in musical direction, however, a stronger name for the band was needed. Founding member Glenn Kaiser came up with Resurrection, the name reflecting the fact Jesus is alive and risen and that God the Father literally raised His Son from the dead. Resurrection in time transitioned to Resurrection Band. In 1974 Resurrection Band recorded two independently released tapes: All Your Days was entirely acoustic, while Music To Raise The Dead moved in the bands trademark hard rock direction.
Resurrection Band debuted in 1978 on Star Song Records with the seventies influenced blues based hard rock of Awaiting Your Reply. Glenn Kaiser and Stu Heiss combine for an abundance of blues flavored rhythm and lead guitar work. Glenn also handles lead vocal duties with his scratchy and grit flavored voice, while his wife Wendi lends support with a rawer and raspier lead vocal style. Bassist Jim Denton and drummer John Herrin form a tight sounding rhythm section.
The sonics to Awaiting Your Reply sound slightly muffled, but when considering it was recorded on a small Christian label using late seventies technology, its production values are quite laudable. The lead guitar and drums both come across clear and discernable. The rhythm guitar could use a bit of beefing up, while the bass fails to rise above the instrumentation. The lead vocals end up placed slightly forward in the mix but not to the point of being a detraction.
To gain full appreciation for the packaging of Awaiting Your Reply the purchase of a vinyl copy is essential. The album jacket folds out to reveal the lyrics printed in a professional manner over a colorful backdrop with several band photos exclusive to the project. The back of the jacket features another band photo with a movie theater in the background advertising, ironically, Saturday Night Fever as the feature show. (Please remember that Awaiting Your Reply WAS recorded during the seventies.)
The voice of a disc jockey gets thing going. "And the hits just keep on comin'. This Jolly Jonah Jamison your DJ kickin' out the jams all-day-all-night on WBCR. That was the Archie’s with "Sugar, Sugar"- just makes you wanna cry don't it. Our thousand dollar winner will be announced two hours from now so hang in there when we play some music by- Resurrection Band? How did this get in the stacks? Oh, well here's hoping"
"Waves" launches into to a heavy duty guitar riff before a trade off takes place during its first verse between the rhythm guitar and Glenn and Wendi, the two delivering a line considered a classic in the annals of Christian rock:
We see wave after wave of people in the street
Playing their songs but missing the beat
People, oh people why can't you understand
Fools with no disguises and love so close at hand
Following several seconds of lead guitar work, the rhythm guitar drives the song forward as Glenn and Wendi continue to share lead vocal duties:
When will you begin to receive the love of God
Jesus wants to touch you, enfold you with His love
Look into your life, and tell me what do you
Don't you realize what He offers is for free
Heiss nails a blues flavored guitar solo before the trade off between the rhythm guitar and Glenn and Wendi returns to take the song to its close.
After the albums title track commences to a drum solo and a voice counting down from four, a monstrous near doom-like riff backed by pounding drums kicks in. Wendi proceeds to step forward with her raspy voice and help take the song at a driving mid-tempo pace to a chorus with a great catchy hook. "Awaiting Your Reply" is written from the standpoint of an individual who literally receives a letter from God:
I was lying in my bed
Trying to arrange my head
When a letter came in from Him
Saying I was dead
It was signed in blood, it was mailed into my heart
It's really sad you know
When you've got nothing to show
And there it reads on the bottom line
I love you...awaiting your reply
Heiss' wonderful blues based work on guitar is the highlight to the seven minute "Broken Promises". Set in motion by a blend of piano, synthesizers and lead guitar, the song slowly moves through its first verse to a touch of rhythm guitar. Picking up in pace for the second, Heiss' gritty lead guitar underscores Glenn as he details the heart of a believer crying out for forgiveness:
Son of God, where are you now?
Do you feel my need?
I'm so lost within this forest, barricaded by the trees
Will You hear my cry for help?
Will You forgive me?
"Broken Promises" decelerates even further for a slowly moving but sweeping chorus drawn out to nearly a full minute. The song culminates following its second chorus when Heiss cuts loose with an extended blues flavored guitar run as Kaiser makes a renewed commitment:
Jesus, I'm gonna follow You - I give my whole life to You
Opening to a jangly "psychedelic flavored" acoustic guitar, "Golden Road" progresses through its first and second verse in a catchy acoustic laced manner. Slowing as an acoustic guitar stands in support of Glenn's scratchy voice during its third verse, the rhythm guitar takes over before the acoustic guitar returns to carry "Golden Road" through its fourth and final verse. Uncannily infectious, "Golden Road" depicts the emptiness of life without God:
Clinging to the shape of a fantasy rolling down the slope of desire
Most of the time spent pulling it out of the fire
I turned away from God and his love, and I worshiped myself
The idols that I'd built all crumbled on my shelf
Several seconds of open air rhythm guitar introduces the hard rocking "Lightshine" before a distorted metal-edged guitar riff enters the mix. Advancing through its verse portions in an energy-laden fashion, the song slows before abruptly gaining momentum for a catchy chorus in which Glenn sings in harmony with Wendi. Heiss' nail biting guitar solo follows Kaiser delivering one of the greatest lines in Christian hard music history:
Have you heard the satanic symphony?
Have you realized that conductor runs you too? (unless you know Jesus)
When the Father calls do you stall and stall?
Or will you search for the key and receive the Truth?
Bassist Jim Denton makes the first and only lead vocal performance of his career on "Ananias And Sapphire". The albums least noteworthy track, an acoustic guitar carries the song its entire distance in a slow paced and bluesy manner.
"Death Of The Dying" begins to a cacophony of drums, bass, distorted guitars and weird vocal effects that gradually build in intensity until the song abruptly stop dead in its tracks. As "Death Of The Dying" rebounds hard and heavy, a driving guitar riff pushes the song to a chorus conveyed with a plethora of hard hitting energy. Kaiser dishes out several seconds of mean sounding lead guitar work.
A quietly played combination of acoustic guitar and keyboards propels "Irish Garden" through its first minute. Abruptly taking off to a hard rocking rhythm guitar sound, an upbeat tempo is maintained until the song reaches a good forcefully delivered chorus. At its halfway point "Irish Garden" slows to an acoustic guitar before a tastefully done keyboard solo carries it forward.
The wonderful laid back blues rock of "The Return" is carried its entire extent by a steady bass line accentuated by keyboards, the two backing Glenn as he sings about the second coming:
I know it won't be long until the Savior comes
Oh, and if you're weary - weary - keep on praying
Behold I come quickly and every eye shall see
Every tongue shall swear to Me I am the Savior and I love you
After reaching the two minute mark, "The Return" breaks for a very well done saxophone solo, the saxophone returning to carry the song over its final thirty seconds.
The album ends to the voice of our beloved disc jockey, Jolly Jonah Jamison, stating, "Well, I guess that's all folks."
As a result of its edgy and upfront rhythm guitar sound, a legitimate case can be made that Awaiting Your Reply was the very first Christian hard rock album. A truly groundbreaking release, Awaiting Your Reply helped pave the way for the Christian hard music scene that greatly expanded during the decades that followed. Despite some muddiness in its production, however, the album holds up quite well musically. "Awaiting Your Reply" and "Lightshine" stand out with their catchy choruses and hard rocking rhythm guitar sound; however, the upbeat "Waves" and "Golden Road" both hold up equally well. However, two of my favorite tracks on the album are its more blues based numbers "Broken Promises" and "The Return".
Track Listing: " Waves" (2:54), "Awaiting Your Reply" (4:06), "Broken Promises" (6:56), "Golden Road" (4:56), "Lightshine" (5:20), "Ananias and Sapphira" (2:50), "Death Of The Dying" (3:18), "Irish Garden" (4:52), "The Return" (3:52)
Glenn Kaiser – Lead Vocals, Guitars & Dulcimer
Wendi Kaiser – Lead Vocals
Stu Heiss – Guitars & Keyboards
Jim Denton – Bass, Acoustic Guitar & Lead Vocals
John Herrin – Drums
Tom Cameron - Harmonica
Kenny Soderblom – Saxophone & Flutes
Roger Heiss - Percussion
Arnold, Christy and Randy Rocker. "Rez Band Interview". Take A Stand (May 1989): 1-2 & 4.
Johnson, Dave. "The Forefathers Of White Metal." White Throne 7 (1991): 12-16.
Ross, Dean. "Glenn Kaiser Speaks Out On Music." Heaven's Metal 26 (1990): 28 & 30.
"Rez: XX Years Of Honest Ministry." Heaven's Metal 36 (1992): 4-7.