The Greatest and Rarest

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If the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Pearl Jam suddenly found Jesus, their music might sound like that of this clever, diverse CCM alt-rock group -- which is Christian ministry guided specifically at the younger audiences looking to bounce and groove and find a more positive message in ska-guitar-crunching grunge. The career retrospective (for a group that says it's "evolving," not "breaking up") is divided into three categories -- original rock tunes (which range from the peppy brassy intensity of "Carnival" to the aggressive craziness of "The Hunted"), worship songs (faithful Christians have never heard "Awesome God," "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever," and "Shout to the Lord" done this way) and rarities (including a previously unreleased take on "Walking on Sunshine" and the reggae-flavored "Memorial Song"). At their peak, the Insyderz were performing 150 shows a year for four consecutive years, making them officially "Christian music's hardest working band." They released four albums, two of which were Top Ten sellers, and produced six number one records. Their basic evolutionary track has taken them from spirited ska to much heavier alternative rocking (a track like "Enthos" combines both approaches effectively). Vocalists Nate Sjogren and Joe Yerke are gritty but tend to yell a bit much, leaving the real thrust of the music in the hands of guitarist Kyle Wasil and the horn section. This is mostly recommended to fans of the band, but Christian pop fans might enjoy the uniqueness of hearing their favorite worship songs done in this wild style.

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