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
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."
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.
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,
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.
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
"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
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.
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."
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
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
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
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.
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."
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 "
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