I have been a fan of Kutless since they first appeared with their first video “Your Touch” on TVU in 2002. (Check out the previous video link to “Your Touch.” It is the video where the two guitarists simultaneously sling their guitars around their back) Not only is their style of music right up there in the upper echelons of my favorite sounds, their lyrics are also uncompromising. When many Christian rock bands abandoned using references to Jesus by name Kutless has not. Like so many Christian bands, Kutless formed out of their local church worship band. The original band members, James Mead (guitar), Nathan Stuart or Stu (bass), Kyle Mitchell (drums), Ryan Shrout (guitar), Jon-Micah Sumrall (vocals), all attended the same church, Athey Creek, in Portland, Oregon. They have mentioned influences from Christian bands like O.C. Supertones, as well as secular bands like Creed, Staind, and Incubus. Stuart, and Mitchell have since left the band to pursue other endeavors. Last year Ryan Shrout decided to leave the band to be with his family more. His daughter was diagnosed with a rare eye disease. Ryan’s spot has since been filled nicely by Nick DePartee their former guitar tech. I have often wondered about the origin of the band’s name and found out that Kutless chose their name because of a specific Bible verse. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NRSV). Because of this, the band says, “He took our cuts for us… leaving us ‘Kutless’. I will mention just a couple of the accolades given this band. The second single “Run” from their debut album became the longest charting song in the history of the R&R top 40 charts. The song “Run” was also the most played song in the first 5 years of ChristianRock.net.
The new album from Kutless is called “To Know That You’re Alive” and is their 5th album. The album was released on June 24th, 2008 and debuted at #64 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. The first song on the album is “The Feeling” and is also the first single to be released. The song is a great rock song and obviously one of those songs written to be performed live. The chorus rocks:
I cannot run away
The feelings got to stay
While we rock all night long
I think that we all know
The reason that we show
The world how real we are
The next track is called “Sleeping City”. It is a quiet interlude to the next track “To Know That You’re Alive”. This song starts out slowly but builds to to a very cool and exciting rhythm that is quite different from their previous stuff. It has an edge about that is very welcomed and fits the lyrics and the album title quite good. “The Disease & The Cure” is the fourth track on the album. The song rocks and the guitar sound low and throaty, similar to Alter Bridge, but it’s the bridge lyrics that are special to me.
There only is one cure
That is why I pray
Jesus please take it away
The next song “Complete” could be another great worship song. The song slows the album down a bit but it is a nice song about reflection and of who we are in God.
There are many highlights here. The songs that stick out the most for me are “The Feeling”, “To Know That You’re Alive”, “Complete”, “The Rescue” is a heavy rocker with some wonderful and glorifying lyrics, “Guiding Me Home” is a quieter song with some excellent lyrics such as:
I feel stronger in Your presence
And safe in your hands
Even though I’m oceans away
I’ll take the life You’ve given me
And I’ll live it again
It’s grace that defines who I am.
Amen to that. It is God’s unending, and faithful grace that defines who I am. I am trusting in Him, and His grace never fails. “I Do Not Belong” is just what the title says. Those who believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ do not belong here in this broken world, as the song’s chorus says:
I do not belong in a world of broken pieces
I was meant to be in the arms of Your redemption
I am moving on to the place of Your perfection
Cause I do not belong
“Loud” is great rock song about proclaiming the good news inside of you. (Romans 1:16) “Dying To Become” is an awesome slow song with a nice, rare, guitar solo. The song is based on Philippians 1:21,
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
I would have to say that each of the songs are directed to God or about the good news of Christ. The subject matter with the rockin’ guitar sound is an awesome combination that deserves many kudos from this blogger. I give the album four and half stars out of five. I am positive that the more I listen to it the more it will become a five star album. If you like it enough to purchase it, it can be purchased here. Rock On Kutless!
Please check out the video for an older release called “Strong Tower” below. I will update with one of their new ones when they are available.