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Some Kind of Zombie - Audio Adrenaline (1997)

Exploring concepts of rebirth and the resurrection of a generation, Audio Adrenaline minus Barry Blair almost drops the rock-pop feel for a very intense, edgy volume raved by a crowd often ignored by Christian music: youth. Though I have claimed they lost all traces of intelligence, tact and style when Barry Blair departed, I never took the time to listen to Some Kind of Zombie; I now realize I owe an apology to AA fans. This album rocks, pure and simple. The opener "Chevette" tells the story of a preacher's car that "Never had a problem keeping on the narrow road." Needless to say, the cut won't bring a Baptist meeting to mind with a power-chord acoustic resting far in the background of the Herdman/Burkum guitar riffs. "New Body" and the title track tell of our undeserved transformation by God's Spirit with enjoyable melody, especially the latter's bridge, "The sky splits ~ I'm moving, I let it freely take me ~ This must be the moment ~ God picked to rearrange me." The lyrics here aren't particularly deep or poetic, but their hard-hitting, gospel perspective works well with their equally powerful sound. The novelty of ska turns up here as well, as the Supertones join AA for a "Blitz" that "Never gives up and never gives in." Whatever. The stop-the-rock-and-harmonize production of Bloom returns in a very limited sense on "Lighthouse," "People Like Me" and "God-shaped Hole"--all of which have more of a do-the-acoustic-progression-and-come-in-with-feedback-enhanced-guitar thing going. All these tracks have a clever way of relating the necessity of Jesus every moment. "Superfriend" actually has the album's clearest picture of a relationship with Christ and genuine challenge to the world's idols--although it isn't in a style you'd hear on Sunday at church. Aside from sometimes-shallow lyrics and lack of vocal strength, Some Kind of Zombie is worth getting for all who love music with danceable energy.