Wind-up Records is staking its claim as the premier Christian rock label, but you know what they say about good intentions, and Wind-up could at least inject some talent into the endeavor.
Starting with a bunch of soft-rock sellouts known as Creed and continuing with newcomers 12 Stones, Wind-up is force-feeding Christian rock into the U.S. mainstream. Hailing from Louisiana, 12 Stones offers a compilation of songs on its self-titled debut that seem a little too similar to big brother Creed's creation.
The band tries to cover too many bases. At times, they're a hard-rocking, almost-grunge band that actually could pass for decent, then they switch to a softer, more hypnotic sound that comes off as a prayer put to music.
Despite the different styles, every track is basically the same - I'm pretty sure they even use the same music on more than one song. After 12 tracks of the same guitar riffs over and over again, the listener begins to pray the CD player will break ... or their eardrums. Even the messages stick to the same banter: Every song centers on the loneliness of life without God and the welcome relief of life with him.
Great message, but it makes for a boring experience when you're constantly bombarded with it, and there's nothing to enliven the album - or at least to break the monotony.
One could speculate that the main reason this Creed-wannabe band is so similar to its idol is that Wind-up Records thinks the best way to spread the faith is to emphasize half-hearted attempts at the same results - trying to please the most people possible - rather than making a quality product. If they really wanted to please us, though, they would juice up the amp a little and give some real reason to stand and say "Hallelujah."
12 Stones, 12 Stones
MEMBERS: Kevin Dorr, bass; Aaron Gainer, drums; Paul McCoy, vocals; Eric Weaver, guitar
PRODUCERS: Jay Baumgardner, Dave Fortman
RECORD LABEL: Wind-Up Records
Teen board member Jay James, 18, is a rising freshman at the University of Georgia in Athens.