"We Stand, We Rise, We Give Our Lives"...Thus saith the synthesizer as Love Riot, the latest Release by Modern Worship band Worth Dying For opens. The band is the Praise and Worship Band for Calvary Temple Worship Center of Modesto California, Specifically for its Youth Ministry The Stadium. Don't let that scare you off, it's not like any Youth Group music you've ever known.
I must confess, there are very few times in my life that I wish I was a teenager again. Not that it was such a stressful time in my life, it wasn't. It's just that I enjoy adulthood. Back when I was in youth group our Youth Leader, Paul Jehle, led the singing on his accordion. Yes, you heard that right, accordion. You know we've come a long way since then when you realize that Delirious? was a Youth Group band. The Kids these days are so blessed and don't even know it.
The aforementioned synthesized voice begins a Spoken Word piece set to music entitled Destroy. Spoken word songs can be hit or miss and take a lot of effort to pull off. This one hits it out of the park. For example of a whiff, I refer you to Five Smooth Stones, whose entire album (almost) is done that way. Only the most kind would call any of it singing. Only one song on that, I believe 18 track CD/mp3, entitled four, is actually sung, and it is the best song on the album. It also sounds like it was done by a completely different band. But I digress. Destroy merges seamlessly into the first "song", Savior, which is a homage (Christians don't steal) to The Letter Black song Moving On, with vocalist Christy Johnson doing her best Sarah Anthony imitation.
Speaking of other bands, there are two guest appearances on the album. Trevor McNevan of TFK (that's Thousand Foot Krutch to the uninformed) appears on Through Your Eyes and Henry Seeley of Melbourne Australia's Planetshakers appears on Closer.
Love Riot moves seamlessly from Modern Worship to Rock to Techno so much that it is hard to classify. They finish with a cover of Delirious hit My Glorious, with Johnson assuming the part of Martin Smith. There is even an instrumental piece called (reprise) which follows Power of Your Love and is followed by the hard rock Never Look Back. It is quite an enjoyable ride. So much so that you'll never notice the run time of just over an hour.
My only regret about this CD is, because they are not a "Known Quantity" to me yet, I ignored the preview from NRT until today, the last day. Now I wish I had started Last Tuesday (the 15th). After my marathon listening session I am giving Love Riot by Worth Dying For 4.75 Emeralds (sorry, but Christy Johnson is no Martin Smith). It will make the 2011 PVA entries in Modern Worship, Rock, and Dance, and Provisionally an entry as Best New Artist. If I haven't heard from them until now, maybe a lot haven't. Worth Dying For is Worth Buying For Yourself or the music lover in your life.