By Jocelyn Codner
Christian rock. I’m sure a few things pop into your head when you hear those words. It seems that in the past Christian rock has gotten a lot of crap. It has not been very popular or well looked upon since its feeble beginnings in the 60s. For one reason or another, Christian rock wasn’t so rockin’. But it seems that these days it’s been taking a turn for the better.
These days Christian rock caries more of a feel-good, positive message rather than a religious one. This means that people who would normally condemn Christian music may dig it. A few years back I went through an angry punk goth stage (emphasize the angry) where I’d wear lots of black clothes, lots of dark eye make up, and listen to music like Korn and Deftones so loud it’d make my ears bleed. I remember a friend of mine introduced me to P.O.D., and I thought they were pretty awesome. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that they were a Christian group. Immediately, they weren’t bad ass enough for me anymore. I was an angry youth and needed equally angry music to fuel my hatred for the world. This Christian nonsense wasn’t cuttin’ it. Needless to say, I stopped listening to them because, in my opinion at the time, they were a pussy band –all this just because they were affiliated with religion.
I grew out of that stage and now judge a Christian rock band like any other, by the quality of their music. I realized how large of an impact the mere thought of religion had on my opinions. My family was religious and I went to church, but my thoughts on religion weren’t good ones.
I decided to put out a survey to see if others had the same reactions or thoughts I once did. After reading through the results, it seemed that many, like myself, thought that Christian rock was lame when they were younger. Now most see it as just another kind of music. A few added that the music was awesome, but the lyrics were a bit of a turn off. My dad also took my survey. He made an interesting point: Christian rock has changed a lot since the 80s and 90s. Apparently, it used to be way lamer. My mom couldn’t stand to listen to it. She found the lyrics way too annoying, and this is coming from a very religious woman.
Today, bands that fall within the Christian rock genre, such a Switchfoot and Mae, carry more of an uplifting and positive message rather than a religious message. Evanescence and Creed, despite their rough appearance, have very spiritual content in their music. It’s something different from the regular sex, drugs, and violence that seems to dominate mainstream music these days. But, just because it’s positive should it be thought of as religious? Not necessarily, unless the group wishes to be considered Christian rock. In my survey I asked if people thought a new genre should be created for this positive rock that has no religious connotations. Most said sure. Some believe that it’s already come and gone in the form of ska. Maybe so. I think that since Christian rock has evolved so much since the beginning it shouldn’t be tied down to a title that may not represent it correctly. On the other hand, maybe it’s the public’s need to have categories and genres that’s the problem. If we all took music one band at a time and drew our own conclusions then no genre would be pre-judged unfairly.