No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical

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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson

Many of the Christian alterna-rockers who have recorded for Tooth & Nail Records have favored very subliminal lyrics; their lyrics are Christian-inspired, but they are so subliminal and subtle that you have to be paying very close attention to realize that you're hearing a Christian band. The Christian references on Showbread's No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical aren't quite as subliminal as what you'll find on other Tooth & Nail releases; for one thing, they actually mention Jesus Christ by name instead of merely hinting. But even so, this is not an album that goes out of its way to exclude or alienate non-Christian listeners -- far from it. To put it bluntly, No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical is a long way from a Jerry Falwell sermon. Rather, Showbread's confessional, probing, often introspective lyrics deal with subjects that both Christians and non-Christians can relate to -- subjects like selfishness ("So Selfish It's Funny") and the role that art plays in people's lives ("Stabbing Art to Death"). That isn't to say that Showbread's lyrics are simplistic; actually, many of their lyrics are complex and may inspire different interpretations from different listeners. But while Showbread's lyrics don't go out of their way to be obvious, their melodies are a lot more straightforward. Showbread is a generally loud, aggressive, volatile, jerky, punky alterna-rock/screamo outfit that can be downright spastic at times. They have their moments of melodic calm, but overall, musical aggression prevails on this CD (which favors the clean vocals/screaming vocals contrast that screamo is known for). No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical is mildly uneven and a bit inconsistent, but more often than not, this CD gives listeners a favorable impression of Showbread's Christian-minded alterna-rock.

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