Creative Christian Moments
“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”
Blog Article 46: A Review of As We Are
With the news months ago about Anberlin retiring from the music scene, I was personally in musical mourning as they have been one of my most favorite instrumental and lyrically brilliant bands of the past ten years. Their music had meaning for me because back in those days I was just a young high schooler trying to figure out my walk with God. Their lyrics spoke the Gospel in a medium I could understand through complicated guitar chords, bombastic bass and drum rhythms, and philosophical lyrics that challenge the conscience; something an ex-atheist heavy metal kid could understand.
Music is fluid and provides a reflection of society with bands passing this type of mantle from one generation to the next; Christian music is no different. And if one looks out into the Christian music genre in general, many bands of the past decade are aging and exiting the music scene to be with their families, explore new areas of ministries, and are just plain tired. Personally, I believe we are in a period of new birth as new Christian bands arise upon the shoulders of their predecessors. One such band is As We Are.
So will I say it? Absolutely! I believe God is raising up As We Are to become like Anberlin in calling, music, and lyrics.
Do not misinterpret my previous words. Is As We Are, Anberlin? No, but I believe As We Are can become equally great instrumentally and lyrically just like them. Why do I believe this? It is because I can see the same musical hunger and thirst expressed in their music. Already, a fan base is being built and the music speaks for itself as you will hear below in support of my statements.
Founded in 2010 in Mount Vernon, IL, As We Are is an indie pop rock/ punk band comprised of Dale Vaughn (guitar/vocals), Josh Lamczyk (guitar/background vocals), Caden Vaughn (drums), Paul Robinson (bass/background vocals), and Christian Robinson (guitar). Below is a video from Dale Vaugh about his heart for music and what As We Are hopes to accomplish.
My good friend Courtney Stauffer of Death Defeated Music sent me an email saying you gotta check these guys out. So I did and they have become the last blog article of the month for June 2015 and hold the honor of the last article for my 2014-2015 year. These songs are going to newly debut shortly so I thought I would offer my opinion of the pieces early. :p
“The Change” is an inspiring song about becoming the catalyst of change in society. Instrumentally, the song reminded me a bit of Switchfoot and Reliant K. As alluded to in the earlier video narrated by Dale Vaughn, the music of As We Are seeks to be a positive influence in culture and this is best reflected in the song “The Change.” The lyrics provoke the idea that all of us have the capacity to change society for the better with this concept being illustrated in the different scenarios displayed by the band members such as battling depression, pornography addiction, alcoholism, and homelessness.
“Here We Are” is a beautiful worship song illustrating the simple concept of leaving your burdens at the door and honoring Jesus with your voice. As We Are begins the song with simple guitar and then progresses into beautiful worship of the Savior. This song really touched my heart because I could feel the Holy Spirit just moving to and fro in the instruments as the band members just let God play through their talents. If you enjoyed Seventh Day Slumber’s worship album, you will definitely enjoy this song. It is the hardcore rock worship that truly touches the heart.
“This song is about surrendering your will and your desires and your plans for what God has for you,” states Dale Vaughn from a live performance at Connection Festival in Iowa (AWA AsWeAre b, 2015, n.p.). “I Surrender” could not be summed up more well than by Dale’s own statement.
“Kingdom Come” is a powerfully prophetic song declaring this generation rising up in the revival power of Christ. The song begins with a punk entrance that invokes the body to attention and then pause for some simple acoustics as Dale Vaughn begins to sing “let Your kingdom come” right out of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Dale Vaughn’s lyrics also question when such a time will occur and inspire the listener to ponder these same questions. This is one of my favorite song from the collection I was given to review.
What first caught my attention about “The Road Less Traveled” was the hardcore double-bass drums intro hammered out by Caden, then the shift back into a simple punk rock music beat. As the song progressed, the punk sound alternated with nu-metal giving it a harmonious sound dueling with one another. This is definitely one of my favorites, also.
Overall, I was impressed by the variety of the rock genre illustrated by their music. As We Are has both songs that Christians and non-Christians can enjoy and this is reflected in the comments on their social media pages. Their music is awesome and deserves out support in any way possible. My prayer for them is to stay true to their path with Christ at the center of the their music and they will see Him multiple blessings upon them in far greater capacities than they can ever imagine.
So how can you support As We Are? Prayer is always a good place. Lift these men up as the serenade the change with positive music pointing the listener to the grace of Christ. Host them at your next church event or youth ministry camp. These guys can bring the rocking sounds to this generation. Also, keep watch for their next album to release. While you are waiting to purchase these songs, check out some of their older music on ReverbNation. I look forward to looking back in the next decade and being able to confidently say As We Are became the musical mantle by which this generation charged forward to change society for the better through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As We Are’s Pages
Personal Website: http://www.aswearerocks.com/
CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/artist/AsWeAre1
As We Are. Band Portrait. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/AsWeAreRocks/photos/pb.109663339100177.-2207520000.1435295485./904267522973084/?type=3&theater (accessed June 25, 2015)
As We Are. Third EP. Copyright 2015 by Death Defeated Music, WAV.
AWA AsWeAre Introduction EPK Video, YouTube, 4:24, posted by AWA AsWeAre, July 15, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GBuZhuUe28 (accessed June 25, 2015)
As We Are- I surrender- Live at Connection Festival, YouTube, 3:28, posted by AWA AsWeAre, June 6, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GBuZhuUe28 (accessed June 25, 2015)
AWA AsWeAre THE CHANGE (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO), YouTube, 3:32, posted by AWA AsWeAre, March 13, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4og2QJ82gwo (accessed June 25, 2015)
As We Are- The Road Less Traveled- Live at Connection Festival, YouTube, 2:43, posted by AWA AsWeAre, June 6, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zX9y-h53hI (accessed June 25, 2015)