By the Tree

These Days

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This rockin' quartet makes a strong case for the validity of the alt-rock branch of CCM, with its edgy, jangling guitars and slick production shared by a few of the genre's heavyweights: Otto Price and Joe Chiccarelli. "Satellite" artfully combines a potent rock anthem, loud guitar riffs, cool Goo Goo Dolls-type harmonies, and spacy electronic sounds. "Salvation Song" is a little more sparse and soulfully intimate. The band seems determined to create hooks they can imagine a crowd of young believers swaying to, and all of them offer a cool balance of hip modernity, catchy hooks, and a positive focus on God.

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