Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback Friday: Taking it Worldwide

Dictionaries are completely useless things. Case in point, I turned to Webster to help define our latest band, and it wasn't in there. I decided to break the name into its constituent parts and try that way, and this is what I got.
  • Audio: adj. of or relating to sound or its reproduction and especially high-fidelity reproduction
  • Adrenaline: noun. Epinephrine (Okay, so that was useless. What's epinephrine?)
  • Epinephrine: noun a colorless crystalline feebly basic sympathomimetic hormone C9H13NO3 that is the principal blood-pressure raising hormone secreted by the adrenal medulla and is used medicinally especially as a heart stimulant, a vasoconstrictor in controlling hemorrhages of the skin, and a muscle relaxant in bronchial asthma —called also adrenaline
ZZZZZZZZZZZ. Oh, Sorry, dozed off there for a second. Like I said, completely worthless. Never let a dictionary do what you should do for yourself. Ladies and Gentlemen, Audio Adrenaline.

You've got to love a band whose name means, basically, Loud Music. Formed in 1986 as A-180, the original lineup was Mark Stuart, Barry Blair, Will McGinnis, David Stuart and Phil Vaughan, who all went to Kentucky Christian University. By 1991 they had gotten the attention of Toby MacKeehan (TobyMac) of DC Talk and Signed to Forefront Records.

I came to the attention of the band in 1992, they were the warm up act for DC Talk on their Free at Last Tour and came to Worcester Memorial Auditorium (no longer in existence). I proudly consider myself an Adrenaline Junkie (the bands term for their fans). The Classic Audio A lineup was:
  • Mark Stuart: Vocals, Guitar
  • Will McGinness: Vocals, Bass
  • Bob Herdman: Guitars, Keys
  • Ben Cissell: Drums
  • Tyler Burkum: Guitars
They produced eight studio albums in their first go round
Some of the songs had a sort of demented humor to them. Take DC-10, one of their early songs, which I discovered on Underdog.

"A 747 Fell out of heaven, crashed through the roof of a 7-11
You're working on a slurpee, things get hazy
reach for a twinkie, now you're pushing up daisies
Do you know where you're gonna go."
Who knew that they would survive Hostess?
Audio Adrenaline is one more example among many of one of my musical facts of life. If you want to have a great soft ballad, have a hard rock band write it. Rock bands know how to slow it down very nicely. On the other hand AC and soft bands seem silly when they try to rock it out. Pierced, Leaving Ninety Nine, Hands and Feet, Good Life. All of these are excellent ballads by Audio Adrenaline. They also did one of the best versions ever of It is well with my soul (a duet with Jennifer Knapp). How that song turned into a morose funeral song I'll never know. It always made me wonder "Is it well with your soul?" I give you one of my favorite Audio Adrenaline ballads, Ocean Floor.

Mark Stuarts voice shot to you know where, the band broke up in 2007, but that is not the end of the story. The band recently reformed with only McGinniss among the original members. The new Audio A is filled out with Dave Ghazarian of Superchick, Jared Byers of Bleach and, at Lead Vocal, Kevin Max of DC Talk. Now I love Kevin, but I'm not sure he's the right fit for this band. You saw some of Audio A, but this is Kevin Max. You decide.

We shall see how things turn out for the new Audio Adrenaline. I myself am eagerly awaiting the new album.

I hope that you enjoyed this look at one of the great Alternative Rock bands of Christian Music. We have completed another rotation. Next Friday we return to The Commonwealth of CCM and the land down under as we cover Rebecca St. James. Tomorrow we return to the Christmas Parade. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.