Dimestore Prophets
Love is Against the Grain

Track Listings
1. Feel's Like Rain 5:10 
2. Hitler's Girlfriend 5:14 
3. Jezebel Eyes 6:00 
4. Baby's Got a New Dress 5:14 
5. Hobo's Jungle 5:02 
6. Reservoir of Soul 4:01 
7. Love Song 5:21 
8. Love Is Against the Grain 5:02 
9. Daddy's Gun 4:59 
10. Ready for the Rain 4:32 
11. Desperate 6:06 
12. Whirlwind 5:35 

Fantastic Distraction (1997)
Love is Against the Grain (1995)
Love is Against the Grain (1994)

  Grace Hotel
  Overall rating: 

Album Reviews

From the opening salvo of "Feels Like Rain" to the spectacular closing of "Whirlwind", Love Is Against The Grain promises to be one of the best albums to add to one's collection. This one is sure to be a classic.

DSP combine great music with some of the best word imagery I personally have encountered. Phrases such as "I've climbed the mountains of regret, when you're numb you cannot feel the pain." And "I'm rich with explanation, none at all."

The concept of the album seems to center around the inward views of different people, and how they relate themselves to the person of God. This is begun in "Feels Like Rain" where the Prophets beckon us to follow them "across a dustbowl, Indian summer sky....through voodoo mystics, merchants and the thieves." So is the journey begun, where we enter the lives of ordinary people. "I saw it in the factories, where sweat has lost it's price. I watched it in the hospice halls, and tried to hold a smile. I saw it in suburbia, where bumper stickers preach." Each song from here through to "Whirlwind" catches a glimpse of a person, either from a personal point of view or from the view of Christ, who is calling out to each of them, crying and dying for each.

Take the hit release, "Hitler's Girlfriend" which comes from the POV of a man who is bound within the confines of his own fears of being hurt. As they sing, "I'm remotely controlled, strapped to an engine stuck in idle, don't feel 'cause I fear, don't love 'cause I lost... don't know,
"There's a valley in my heart, that holds the tears of yesterday. I've climbed the mountains of regret, when you're numb you cannot feel the pain." -- Reservoire of Soul
don't want to know." The protagonist of the song wants desperately to care, but the weight of his own inertia holds him trapped. Yet at the same time, he seems to blame God for not giving him the strength to leave, to get up off the couch of his own despair and longing.

In "Baby's Got A New Dress" the song is written from the viewpoint of Christ, who is calling out to a woman who, while we may assume that she is "saved", is still flirting with "the world." As the Prophets sing, "Said he'd love you all night long, then in the morning put his pants on and he was gone. He left you naked. I'll never leave."

"Hobo's Jungle", which is a song very reminiscent of Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" is about how people prejudge and preconceive what others are about. In the song, an encounter with a beggar causes this song's protagonist to rethink the "programming" he received as a child. "Fear formed his influence. Some say that forest holds the devil's kin, vagrants, homeless, the dregs of us. He believes and swallows deep." The beggar, though, teaches him that he, too, is a man. A man who is the victim of his circumstances, perhaps. "His smile felt like forgiveness, like mercy for a crook's last meal. He said we share the same roof, yours is wood, mine is sky." Thus showing that indeed they are more alike than different. That the God of mercy offers the same gift to both.

"Love Song #58" is a song filled with passion and energy, one of the best on this album. The song itself states that only through Christ can we turn codependence on others into dependence on God. "Sister, could you be my crutch tonight? Giver, my words are clay but in you they mean so much....Someday I will be strong enough to say, I once needed to be loved, but when you stand by me, I can stand alone."

"Ready For The Rain" is a bluesey guitar and drums song. The tune is catchy and will leave you humming the chorus. The lyrics are a retelling of the parable of the man who built his house on the sand, and the rains fell and washed it all away. It is a testament to the hope that we have in Christ; that when we build our foundation on the rock, the rains may fall but we will not be washed away. "Rain came down again today, the thunder howled, but I was not afraid. The winds made an awful sound, but I now live on solid ground, the rain came down again today."

The final song, "Whirlwind" ties all these disparate ends together and summarizes the album. "They're just like you and me, we're one and the same. Everytime we try to do good something gets in the way....Take my hand, I'll help you if I can. Time is coming down like a whirlwind." If we could all only realize this truth, maybe the world would be just a little better. The song, and the album, finish with these lines. "Every time I look at you, I end up looking at myself, for everything you hide in your closet, I've hidden somewhere else. And sometime when you see me you're going to laugh, saying there goes a man with high ideals and a burden on his back."

~ Club Exit


"Most of my writing comes from being disciplined, sitting down, and banging out good ideas." So says Justin Stevens, the lead singer and lyricist of the "Dime Store Prophets." That work ethic and commitment to solid ministry, enabled Stevens and bandmates Masaki (guitar), Sam Hernandez (bass), and Joel Metzler (drums) to produce a national debut as strong as "Love Is Against The Grain." The album, on "5 Minute Walk Records," is a collection of 12 modern rock songs that have a blatantly Christian message without sacrificing art and intelligent lyrics. So far, they've had two national chart topping songs on radio, "Feels Like Rain" and "Hitler's Girlfriend".

Stevens and Masaki first teamed up more than five years ago in a band called "9 Red Roses." They enjoyed some success but the band broke up in 1991. Stevens and Masaki stayed together, forming "Radiation Ranch." In 1993, when the bands current members were in place, they changed their name to "Dime Store Prophets, " actually taken from a "Radiation Ranch" song.

With such high demands on themselves, putting together a "Dime Store Prophets" song can be a huge undertaking. "A lot of bands seem to throw together parts and have no concept of how those parts work together," Masaki said. "For us, it's important that the passion in the music is similar to the passion in the lyrics. We feel that what we have to say is the most important thing we're doing."

Masaki and Stevens haven't lost sight of why they started playing together in the first place. "I have a sincere heart for people," said Stevens. "A local non-Christian D.J. asked us if we thought being a Christian band was a mark against us. Our response was that it's our job to be honest. I think one of the biggest things we value is to be bold and honest about what God is doing in our lives "

With a project like "Love Is Against The Grain, " and the bands determination, you cansafely expect to hear the name "Dime Store Prophets" for a long time to come. "Wedefinitely feel that Dime Store is where God has called us," said Masaki. "We can't do what we're doing halfway. We will always be forging ahead."





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