Friday, 29 November 2013

Song of the Week: 29 November 2013

In light of our RED competition we thought it'd be fitting to have a RED song as this week's "Song of the Week"....enjoy!


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Icon for Hire: Icon for Hire


Release Date: 15 October 2013
Genre: Alternative Metal
Length: 42:49
Label: Tooth & Nail
Similar artists: Fireflight, The Letter Black, Flyleaf, The DirtyYouth
Rating: 3/5

Instead of trying to pacify us all with record full of generic lyrics and religious references, Icon for Hire’s first album, entitled Scripted, capitalized on intricate and genuine lyrics accompanied by exciting synths and beats to create a solid album. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the release of their new self-titled album is trying too hard to stand out from the crowd, and it may be doing that, just not for the right reasons.

There is a lack of consistency to be found in this record, don’t get me wrong though, in a lot of cases variety is a good way to keep an album interesting, but it has to be done right if it is going to work. In this case consistency is sacrificed for lyrical complexity and what seems to be an attempt to try every trick in the book, and as a result the record just seems to be all over the place, it is too inconsistent. Even the tracks themselves seem to be inconsistent, often changing dramatically midway through a verse, leaving lead singer Ariel’s voice to be submerged under a wave of over-production.

The lyrics in the songs are a redeeming feature; Icon for Hire have indeed managed to find a sweet spot, delicately balancing their lyrics between honesty and hope. With that said though some of the lyrics did make me rewind the track just to make sure I heard right. In the track "Watch Me" for example. The second verse drops the line, "I'm calling it, you're full of shhhh." While there isn’t actually a curse word used there, it still comes across as a bit tacky. Some of the lyrics can also come across as defensive, which can sometimes make it difficult to appreciate.

Musically this record isn’t bad at all, the problem is that there is just way too much going on and as a result you will find it hard to appreciate the quality of the music produced.

One listen to this record leaves you wondering where it all went wrong, in comparison to their first record that is. It just feels like they are trying too hard; too hard to be different, to be hip, and to be cute and interesting lyrically. Honestly, this album felt like it took a step backwards from their debut.

This Weeks Song of the Week: “Hope of Morning”.

Stay for reals Bear Grylls


D

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

RED GIVEAWAY TIME


We've got our hands on RED's anthology and a set of RED drumsticks! All you have to do is go onto our Facebook PAGE, like the page and the RED photo and share the photo...easy as that!

The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on the 10th of December 2013!

We pray that you've had a fantastic start to the week...

Peace and Love
A

Sunday, 24 November 2013

J & A's Playlist: November 2013

J's Playlist

Newsboys: Live with Abandon

Plumb: Need you Now

Random Hero: Mercy

KJ-52: It's Going Down
_____________________________________________________________________
A's Playlist

Gungor: I am Mountain

The Oh Hello's: The Valley

Loud Harp: Your Love Never Runs Out

As Isaac: Speak Lord

Friday, 22 November 2013

Song of the week: 22 November 2013

This week's song of the week is a home grown South African talent. Matthew Mole, "Take yours, I'll take mine."


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Remedy Drive: Resuscitate

Release Date: 18 September 2012
Genre: Christian Rock, Indie Rock
Length: 36:29
Label: Centricity Music
Similar artists: Switchfoot, Run Kid Run, Hawk Nelson, The Afters
Rating: 4/5

Resuscitate is the second studio album to be released by Remedy Drive. Before this record was released, this band was just barely clinging to what little life it had left. With the release of Resuscitate however, Remedy Drive has been injected with new, vibrant, explosive life. This record is a tribute to David Zach, the lead singer and only remaining member of the original band, and his tenacity and synergy with his new members.

The record is a little bit shorter than most albums, with only 10 tracks running 36 minutes, however Resuscitate is a powerful rock album, jam-packed with encouraging and inspiring messages. Remedy Drive have showed us that they want to be one of the most continues to be one of the most dynamic and meaningful acts in today's modern rock world. Whether singing of their daily dependence on God throughout 'Better Than Life' or offering enormous praise throughout 'Glory,' there's plenty of meat in the messages within these tracks. In terms of lyrics it is hard to find tracks that are more passionately sung.

After four years you might have expected a record that was more polished and professional, with something more. I know that the road for Remedy Drive hasn’t been the smoothest, but I do still with this record was lacking slightly, but only slightly.

Although this isn't quite the breath of fresh air I was hoping for, Resuscitate still succeeds in being a pretty solid pop rock record, displaying enough highlights to get by. On the positive side, the creative use of keyboards woven into the fabric of many of these songs is truly striking. Despite their tough past, I was very pleased to find that this record was full of guitar driven, piano pop and raw organic rock moments, that make me think of bands such as Switchfoot or Kutless.

Resuscitate reveals beautiful moments of focused clarity, contrasted by cries of feeling lost; sparkling piano, clever lyrics, solid drums, and well-crafted vocals, all of which come together to spread a little light into the world, reminding us that God is near. As a whole this record has given us many moments to mull over and it shows a lot of potential for the band’s future. I think the new lineup is going to carry on well from where the band had left off.

Song of the Week: “Glory”

Stay handsome Samuel L. Jackson

D


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Life Verse

How do you define your life? By the people you know? Or maybe the places you’ve been... Perhaps you are old school, you are what you eat? In which case I’m the biggest bowl of ice-cream and chocolate sauce you’ve ever seen. No cherries though, I hate those sugar coated crimson balls.

As people, we often like to define ourselves by who we are, our past and what we wish to accomplish in the future.

Recently in church and amongst friends we’ve been discussing what our ‘life verse’ is. A ‘life verse’ is kind of like your theme song. That one song you just can’t help but sing at the top of your lungs. For me that’s “Drops of Jupiter” by Train.

It’s that quote that just resonates with your soul.

The main difference is that a ‘life verse’ isn’t something that you would find on the radio or on iTunes. Your ‘life verse’ is found in the Bible, you know, that great big book everyone’s always talking about. For those of you more technologically advanced it also comes as an app on your phone.

Why have a ‘life verse’? What’s the purpose? Well it’s mainly just a verse that sums up your life or who you are, or what you may be going through in a phase in your life. My ‘life verse’ for this year is, “But even when I am afraid, I keep on trusting you” from Psalm 56:3. Life is scary, especially when you have no idea what you intend to do with your own. This verse has just been a reminder to me of how I can continue trusting God for guidance, even in the dark places.

Do you have a ‘life verse’? It’s not life changing, but it is a great comfort. Something to remember when things start to go south.

You may be wondering how to get one. We all go through different phases in our lives, not every verse is going to apply to each of these phrases. A friend of mine said that she used the psalm that was her age for that year. If you are 23, and you then go to Psalm 23 you’ll find this:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

That’s just one example of how this may work. Others might hear about it from a friend, or see it in a tweet or Facebook status.

Your ‘life verse’ could come from Psalms like mine, or from any other book in the Bible such as Zephaniah 3:17 that says, “The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” New Testament, Old Testament, it doesn’t really matter where your verse is.

However you stumble across it, it’s always great to have a ‘life verse’ to keep you grounded. My ‘life verse’ was used to inspire me through tough times of trials. Other people may have a ‘life verse’ to remember someone they lost.

Whatever your reason, whatever you are searching for, turn to the Bible. It has so many verses of inspiration that you can find. Sometimes you have to look harder to find the deeper meaning, other times it hits you square in the head.

Find a meaning for everything that is going on in your life. Find an answer. Find strength, courage and even hope. Use it as a concrete slab on which to help you get through trying times.

And always remember, stay awesome.

M

Friday, 15 November 2013

Song of the week: 15 November 2013

Song of the week this week goes to Remedy Drive with 'Resuscitate me'. What a rocking way to start your weekend. Enjoy!!



Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Mat Kearney: City of Black and White


Release date: May 19 2009
Genre: Rock, pop, acoustic, CCM
Length: 50:02
Label: Blackbird studios
Similar artists: Big daddy weave; the Script; the Fray; Cold Play
Rating: 4/5

An artist that has more similar artists than most you have heard, and yet an artist that has his own flow and sound. This, Mat's third studio album comes after his critically acclaimed first main stream album 'nothing left to lose'. Following an album with as much success as that is difficult, but he does his best in this album. 

The general feel of the album is relatively easy to pick up, typical Kearney. The focus of the album is lyrics, the simple instrumentals throughout the album testify to that. It takes guts for a solo artist to rely so heavily on his lyrics and his voice. In 'nothing left to lose', the reason for his success was this, the fact that he could captivate you through his voice. He is still captivating. The album gets slower and slower as the album goes on, with the most upbeat songs in the first four tracks. As the album slows, so does the mood of the songs, the lyrics get deeper and you begin to see deeper into Kearney's soul. 

There was one single from the album Closer to love. The choice of this song as the single was wise. The intro has a synth, which adds another dimension to the song. The flow of the song is tangible and makes for a good fit. 

As a lyricist, Kearney is second to none, 'nothing left to lose' and 'city of black and white' show a mastery in the ability of Kearney to tell a story. He has a lot of help on his records but this isn't the case of too many chefs spoiling the broth, rather, the many people that helped on the album have helped to create a strong final product. The goal of all of Kearney's albums is to tell a story. He does not simply write music to fit into the scene, he focuses his attention in telling a story, and these stories come alive in each and every song. 

The lack of triumphant room-smashing instrumentals does not detract from the album, Kearney's voice lends itself to the music he sings (obviously). Do not think that you will be missing out on the instruments through listening to this album, the music put forward through this album is truly great and should not be simply passed over. 

The bottom line of this album is what music you enjoy. I think that given the chance, everyone can enjoy this music, whether you think you are too old or too young, or even too hipster, I think that this album can be enjoyed by everyone. I do have to add something at this stage, do not just get this album, get all of Mat Kearney's albums, they are all as unique as the last. If you are looking for a good constant in your music, you found your guy.

Song of the week goes to: Fire and Rain

Have a rocking week everyone
J

Monday, 11 November 2013

Connecting the Dots

Welcome back every body, I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week. It’s nearing the end of the year when I often find myself reflecting on not only the past year and its events, but on my life as a whole. See, I don’t wait for December to reflect - I’m far too eager to do that. I like to reflect as soon as my university year is over. It may be weird, but that’s just how I like it. I think that’s mainly due to the fact that in December my brain tends to work about as well as a monkey in an orchestra. So before my brain starts looking like that pink sludge at the back of my fridge let me begin.

For those of you who haven’t seen Steve Jobs’ Stanford graduation speech you should definitely check it out. The quote that I mainly wish to look at goes something like this:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards.”

Steve Jobs may be quite a controversial individual, but there is so much truth to this phrase. Life has a tendency to throw us many curve balls. We often have an excess of lemons and we get tired of making lemonade. We want to know what it’s all for, what it all means. We can only trust in something to see us through. For some people they trust in the concept of “destiny”. Others trust their instinct, their passion and others trust God.

Wherever you stand today I’m here to tell you connecting the dots is definitely easier to do in retrospect, and impossible to do any other ways. I’m no stranger to having to randomly improvise what I’ll do for the year. That’s pretty much how my entire year has been. I applied to do my honours in Industrial Psychology, but didn’t get accepted. This was the best thing that could ever have happened to me since I did my Post Graduate Certificate in Education this year. I have made some amazing friends, gotten closer to my current friends, and strengthened my relationship with my family and God. In hindsight, I think that’s what God wanted me to do this year, and after my reflection I feel that this has been one of the best years of my life.

How has your year been? In retrospect, has it been a year full of worry, doubt and uncertainty? Did you allow that to get the better of you? Or did you face the challenge head on?

Unfortunately, we may never know how certain events will change the rest of our lives, not for a long time at least. I may only know in five years time how certain events this year have shaped the rest of my life, but I will only know in five years time. Perhaps I’ll write another article then to “past Matt” saying ‘what’s up’. Who knows; all I know is that the friends I made more than five years ago helped me get through this year.

The year isn’t over yet though, so there’s still a chance something more epic and exciting will happen!

There’s always a chance that the dots will connect this year, and if they don’t then they will line up eventually. There’s always a reason for everything that happens to us, if we have faith. There’s always a silver lining when we’re willing to embrace change, embrace things that terrify us, and find meaning in adversity.

It takes time, but life is good when the dots finally connect.

Stay awesome everyone.

M

Friday, 8 November 2013

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Steven Curtis Chapman: The Glorious Unfolding


Release Date: 30 September 2013
Genre: Contemporary Christian
Length: 47:46
Label: Reunion Records
Similar artists: Casting Crowns, MercyMe, Mark Schultz, Michael W. Smith,
Rating: 4/5

As a whole, this record is a showcase of Chapman’s musical maturity as well as his years of experience both in life and the music industry.

Lyrically the depth of each track contains personal and spiritual aspects that are truly captivating, the record unfolds beautifully into thought provoking layers with each listen. There is a definite warmth and complexity to Chapman’s work; you can feel how each track is another masterpiece created by a master in his art; a diverse, captivating, emotional rollercoaster. This is an awesome record that truly showcases his ability as a songwriter.

It is safe to say that Chapman is a veteran in this scene, and he is clearly still at the top of his game, once again he managed to redefine the contemporary sound that he pretty much created. His voice is one of the best in the industry and his songs can really move the soul, alongside contemplative ballads that provide a strikingly vulnerable view of his soul. This record shows that Steven knows how to produce great songs that are heartfelt, meaningful and honest.

One of the traps he can sometimes fall into is letting his records be too much of ‘the same’, however he has thrown in enough little surprises in this record to avoid that problem.

I believe this is the kind of record that Chapman fans will have come to know and love, as should any fan of the more contemporary genre of music. Ultimately, in my humble opinion, The Glorious Unfolding seems to soar above the rest of the artists in the contemporary Christian music scene, but it doesn't quite maintain the momentum that the first few tracks set off with. Regardless, Chapman has given us another satisfying record.

Song of The Week:  “Michael and Maria”

Stay alive Clive 


D

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Comedy concerts

Hello and welcomes to RICS. The place where you find everything from music to faith. Today you will even find some comedy.

Knock Knock...

Who's there? 

Dexter...

Dexter who?

Dexter halls with boughs of holly...

That was just to get you into the Christmas spirit, just like every retailer trying to push the Christmas spirit since the beginning of October. You will be happy to know that the rest of this post will not be as cheesy as that joke was, so if you have stuck around, good on you.

Last week I was privileged to experience an event unlike any I have been to before. The event was put on by LoveSA Music, a company you should definitely check out if you are interested in quality South African music. It was different because the organiser amalgamated two very different genres in an effort to make the night more enjoyable. Taking two of peoples favourite things and mixing them in a cocktail that could go very well or very badly. Comedy and music. Two of my favourite things (did I just quote Sound Of Music?). 

The night comprised of three acts. The opening act was Jacques Moolman who is the front-man for Shadowclub band. Then Ryan Whittal (the comedian for the evening) took to the stage. Finally the headline for the evening was Matthew Mole, who I am sure everyone reading this knows because we promote him like nobody's business. So three acts, two music and one comedy. What was the result?



The result was a performance that brought in two very different genres of entertainment. The result was an evening of fun, good clean fun for the whole family. The result was that I got thinking about how viable this would be as a concert, and the idea for this post was born.

I think that this type of event is something that should be done on the norm. Not every concert should have this structure I agree, but there is a definite market for the experimentation with it. Think about the last concert you were at. You were all excited, you have arrived five hours before to make sure you are the first person to be pushing the next person to make sure you get that spot directly in front of the stage. You haven't gone to the toilet for those five hours because you won't make it back to your spot. So you wait, and finally the MC walks onto stage and everyone loses their minds. In my experience, if the MC has been average, the 'amptness' you were feeling dissipates somewhat. But you let it slide because you are so excited for the music. The opening act then further determines the evening based on their quality. But once again, you can let that slide based on the fact that you are here to see the band you paid the money to see. 

My point throughout that was to say that many things can hinder the quality of an evening. In my experience, I think that if you were to get someone, such as a comedian to come on stage in the beginning to settle everyone down, as well as after the opening act, just for a few minutes at a time, the waiting time will feel less, and your feet won't feel as though they don't exist by the end of your five hour wait. 

How practical is my idea? The practicality of my idea is based on my own thoughts and therefore I would love to hear feedback form you as to what your opinions on this are. Would you want to see a comedian at a concert? Do you think that a concert is no place for a comedian? What are your thoughts? 

Some warnings to people thinking they want to try this... make sure that the comedian you get is funny. If the comedian is not funny, you going to have a bad time, those five hours will feel like an eternity (the non-saved kind). Make sure that you know the comedians material and ensure that you proof read the content before. The last thing you want is for you to bring a comedian to a family event and nothing but profanities are thrown around for 10 minutes. Judge the crowd, if you are hosting a metal concert, perhaps the comedian idea is a bit far? I am not sure, let me know. Most importantly, make sure they are funny. I am repeating it because I am not trying to be funny. Seriously. 


A new pastor was visiting the homes of his parishioners.

At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a card and wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it and stuck it in the door.

When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, Genesis 3:10."

Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter.

Revelation 3:20 begins "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Genesis 3:10 reads, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid, for I was naked."


Have a rocking week everyone
J

Check out our Facebook page, we are launching a competition in the next two weeks, so be sure to check for updates on the page.

Friday, 1 November 2013