Miles to Go
PINING AWAY Christian bands have, in our opinion, the most inspirational of all subject matters to sing about-the profound realities of the Creator. Yet we feel much of what we hear today has done very little to convey that inspiration, musically speaking. Though Solomon pined that there was nothing new under the sun, that hardly gives us a reason to settle for the same tired old music. From the all-too-familiar Nashville mass-production sound to the overloaded alternative bandwagon to the endless throng of hip-hopping minstrels, Christian music has become saturated with the mundane. There are, of course, some brave sorts on the fringe who have climbed aboard the screaming industrial train, and that has at least opened the door for 'something different'; but we always thought it odd to juxtapose an angry dark tone with the Light of the World. To each his own, but why give in to what others have already done? Why join the ranks already plodding along the Lemming Trail? Let's try something new. In the late 70's and early 80's musicians gave the world a marvelous resurgence of creativity. Progressive Rock reached it's glorious peak, the dawn of the synthesizer ushered in the New Wave, and people believed that such a thing as 'melody' was still a good idea. True to the spirit of innovation, Approximate Height has endeavored to capture some of the creativity of that by-gone era. IF YOU HAD TO PIN US DOWN We do admit, even with the drive to be different, Approximate Height has their musical influences. Originality doesn't thrive in a vacuum. Your heroes will invariably wiggle their way into your compositions. Fortunately, our influences are obscure. You probably never heard of Ultravox; and if you had to pin us down, we're something like Ultravox. But then again, no. Some marketing experts told us you better be able to identify your style with somebody famous or nobody's going to give you a chance. Well, we tried! Who do we sound like? That's a tough one. We're betting you'll have trouble nailing that down yourself. I guess if our lives depended on providing some mainstream connections, a few of our riffs might sound like Rick Nielsen's guitar (you know the quirky baseball cap from CHEAP TRICK?), there's some semblance to GARY NUMAN's vocalizations, there's some anthemic ASIA in the mix, there's a little techno here and there, maybe Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson from RUSH show up for a few seconds, and you may hear Tony Banks from GENESIS come through on a keyboard solo...again, we say this only if our lives depended on it. In younger days we listened to Ultravox, Gary Numan, Rush, Asia, Genesis, Yes, Kansas, ELP - and they shaped our opinions of good music. That said, it is not our desire to identify with secular bands. We're a Christian group, and our message and purpose is decidedly different from our music heroes of the past. And we know too that certain channels of rock music have nefarious associations. Remember that devil-horned lead singer from AC/DC? The last thing we need is to identify with that breed. Ours is not their "highway to hell". Even so, we understand the tension that is created by 'Christian Rock'. Some argue these two terms are mutually exclusive. But should the music itself be blamed? Do Christians need to throw the baby out with the bathwater? FEELING A LITTLE GUILTY? Rather than rehashing the debate over the "sound" of rock music and it's compatibility with Christianity, let's at least acknowledge an unspoken reticence among some in the community of faith. Sometimes a Christian can feel a little guilty when he or she finds themselves enjoying secular rock music. Though it's a no-brainer for the spiritually sensitive to abhor songs that espouse evil-doing, some lyrics, on the other hand, could be described as morally neutral, neither devaluing a Christian's convictions nor promoting them. But whether the lyrics are objectionable or not, the music itself may afford great appreciation and interest. Frankly, it's a shame for the Christian to have to struggle over this. Not that we feel believers should deny their consciences and overlook the dark side of rock, but it's a shame in the sense that the music style we really like is not readily available from a Christian worldview. You'll be glad to know that Approximate Height has made available an option with none of the struggle. Whether it bothers you to put up with unappetizing lyrics or not, you won't have to worry about the issue with Approximate Height. A NON-FUZZY OPTION We have a target audience (and if that limits us, so be it). This album is meant for Christians who want to live God-honoring lives and would like some encouragement to that end. We address various aspects of life that challenge a Christian's faith and how those challenges can be overcome. And we promise no milktoast lyrics. These are songs you can chew on, but you can also draw out for yourself some intestinal spiritual fortitude. Prepare yourself for a big sound. We suggest you play it loud! It's meant to fire you up-volume will help. Rock this out on your Ipod if you buy our MP3s. Let it rip in your player if you buy our CD. (just don't go nuts-you'll need your ears later in life) AH is music of spiritual determination. It's not dark and angry, but it ain't soft and fuzzy either. So if you want positive, driving, non-fuzzy music, give us a listen. And send along a review if you like us. If you don't, that's okay--but don't write anything then. We only want good reviews. What if somebody came upon our page and read "yuck, I hated it"? We don't want anyone agreeing with that! Besides, what good does it do to hurt people's feelings? Much better to read: "These guys aren't kidding. A new chapter in Christian rock. A hybrid of New Wave 80's power with a message to match!" Now that's a review you can sink your teeth into. Thanks for reading this all the way through. You must be interested. Just a few more clicks and the CD can be at your door in a couple of days. MP3s instantly! By the way, none of the proceeds from our album are going to charity. We'll have to sell about 400 just to break even. But after that, sure. Approximate Height.