Monday, February 20, 2012

Sent By Ravens: Mean What You Say Review

If you’re looking for a unique Christian rock band, look no further than Sent By Ravens! Not only is their hardcore rock with explosive guitars, rough vocals, and extremely strong lyrics very appreciated, but also is the story of how God brought this group together and began their musical career! The fivesome (two of whom are originally from Hawaii) moved and connected in Hartsville, South Carolina where they recorded two independent EPs and where discovered by Tooth & Nail Records. Their 2010 debut Our Graceful Words peaked at #34 on Billboard Heatseekers Chart. Now, after two years of much anticipation from their fans, Sent By Ravens is back with their sophomore project Mean What You Say, released on February 28th.

Sent By Ravens’ honest lyrics and grunge rock are manifest through the short opening track “Prudence,” while “Listen,” stronger but with a slower tempo, addresses the irony that preaching at people produces little effect as much as loving them to Christ does. The poetic lyrics may be a bit hard to decipher at first, but once understood, they speak volumes of truth.
Lead singer Zach Riner’s vocals sound better than ever through “Rebuild, Release,” which has a Children 18:3 sentiment to it. Especially enjoyable are the emphatic vocals of the chorus: “I need to get this feeling out/ the walls are coming down/ I’d bleed for something real right now/ let’s build it from the ground!” Screamo and also strong background vocals during the bridge make “Rebuild, Release” my personal favorite off Say What You Mean. “Learn From the Night” with deep vocals, takes on a sad turn, and appropriately with its sad lyrics of regret – another fantastic track.

The crazily fun title track follows, emphasizing the importance of our words – a very powerful message that definitely sticks out with the lyric “You better mean what you say” throughout the verses and chorus. “However Long it Takes” again takes on a slower note, but the strong guitars make it far from mundane, with a message of broken relationships and restoration.

“Need It Today” has a metal sound to it, but has an awesome piano backing, while the haunting “Never Be Enough” again shows off Zach Riner’s fabulous vocals. Both tracks are relationship struggles, but are really nice listens.

While “We’re All Liars” is characterized by grunge guitars and screamo, it’s the awesome lyrics that make it a highlight: “Somebody is a liar!/ You shouldn’t play with fire, you may get burned!/ You know, you know/ I put my trust in this, but I know, I know/ I’ve been misplacing it.” “Best In Me” closes Mean What You Say on a slower note, with these thoughtful lyrics: “So just settle down/ this storm won’t last forever/ we’re built for more than this world…”

Sent By Ravens’ hardcore rock, poetic lyrics with strong messages, and astounding vocals combine very well to make SBR a standout rock band! I highly recommend Mean What You Say to fans of Children 18:3, and current fans of SBR will definitely be pleased with this project as well. Kudos to Sent By Ravens’ for another fantastic album!

Rating: 4/5
Release date: February 28, 2012

Track listing:
1. Prudence
2. Listen
3. Rebuild, Release
4. Learn From the Night
5. Mean What You Say
6. However Long It Takes
7. Need it Today
8. Never Be Enough
9. We’re All Liars
10. Best In Me

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