Children 18:3

Children 18:3

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These three don't look like Christian rockers. What they look like is the unholy spawn of an ill-advised dalliance between Danzig and the Cramps -- and therein lies part of their kewlness. What they sound like, interestingly enough, is Christian rockers who have listened to lots and lots of Rancid, Motörhead, and the B-52's, and if you think that sounds like a recipe for lots of good, clean, head-banging fun, then you're absolutely right. On their debut album, these Minnesota siblings take a couple of tracks to settle in; "All My Balloons" and "LCM" are both nice, frenetic power pop with a great sound and a notable dearth of memorable hooks, but the hooks come in with a vengeance on "Search Warrant" (the first on which bassist Leemarie Hostetter takes over lead vocal duties), and then things turn kind of upside down with the distinctly ska-flavored "Even Sleeping." "Homemade Valentine" is a brilliant power pop shoutalong that seems to be written through the eyes of Jesus' disciples following the crucifixion. There's little to no pause between the songs, Ramones-style, which lends an even greater air of urgency and momentum to the proceedings. Recommended to all who don't mind having their hard-rocking fun leavened with a little bit of religion.

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