3 great rock bands that are actually Christian

switchfootThe recent history of Christian music is rocky (no pun intended). While several Christian artists have experimented in rock and pop, the majority of listeners find it challenging to take Christian music seriously unless it’s a praise song during a worship service. Fortunately, a few bands comprised of Christian members set out to make good music—not explicitly “Christian” music—and have managed to garner mainstream success. After browsing Christian rock on and off for the past few years, I found a few winners who produce quality music without being preachy.

1. Switchfoot

This California-based alternative rock band has been jamming for almost 20 years, challenging listeners to change their lifestyles and infusing its music with philosophical musings and elements of hard rock. The band rose to prominence when its hit single “Dare You To Move” was featured in the 2002 film “A Walk To Remember.” Since then, Switchfoot has continued its track record with moving songwriting, angsty soul-searching, heavy guitars, and exceptional vocals from frontman Jon Foreman.

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Recommendations: “Dare You To Move,” “Stars,” “Awakening,” “Daisy,” “Restless,” “Dark Horses,” “This Is Home,” “Oh! Gravity.”

2. Relient K

Formed in 1998 in Canton, Ohio by three high schoolers, Relient K is best known for its summer rock feel, fast-paced and guitar-led melodies, deep lyrics, and punny album titles (like “The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek,” “Let it Snow, Baby…Let it Reindeer,”  and “Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right…But Three Do”). In my experience with rock music, Relient K lays claim to some of the deepest lyrics out there, and that’s saying a lot for a band heavily influenced by punk rock and punk pop. Although the members profess the Christian faith, they didn’t start writing songs targeted at Christians until their fifth album, “Five Score and Seven Years Ago.”

Recommendations: “Be My Escape,” “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been,” “Sadie Hawkins Dance,” “Must Have Done Something Right,” “Come Right Out and Say It,” “Which To Bury, Us Or The Hatchet”

3. Thousand Foot Krutch

This Canadian hard rock band (often abbreviated TFK) is often compared to Linkin Park, incorporating nu metal and rap metal into its sound, but weaving philosophy and religion into much of its lyrics. Launched in 1997, TFK wasn’t heavily involved in the Christian music world until 2007 with the release of the band’s fifth album. Most of their songs feature slower-paced verses with some piano, alternating with bursts of guitar-led choruses with aggressive vocals.

Recommendations: The band’s 2012 album “The End Is Where We Begin” is gold. Listen to the whole thing.

Photo – Switchfoot (credit Wikipedia)

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