NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Everyday Sunday has emerged from the Columbus, Ohio, music scene, quickly making a name and opening for such renowned artists as Skillet, La Rue, Plumb, Pax 217, Earthsuit and All Star United.
Their 2001 independent release, "Sleeper," jumped to number 11 on Christian rock charts with the hit single "Just a Story." This accomplishment, as an unsigned band, raised a few eyebrows from record labels, and Flicker Records soon took them in.
With their new record home, it didn't take long for Everyday Sunday to hit the recording studio, and dc Talk member Michael Tait offered to produce the project with the help of veteran producer Michael Quinlan (Rebecca St. James, The Benjamin Gate). The result came in the form of their premiere album "Stand Up."
Stand Up demonstrates the band's versatility in musical style. They cover all areas of Christian rock, from acoustic AC/CHR on "Stand Up" to modern heavy rock on the Pillar-sounding "Wait." Think of Everyday Sunday as a combination of Audio Adrenaline, Jars of Clay and dc Talk.
Most bands who venture into a broad musical style end up sacrificing musical quality in their quest to please multiple audiences.
However, that's not the case with Everyday Sunday. There are a few promising radio hits on this album, and the band definitely shows prospects for future endeavors.
Some highlights include "This Time," which stresses the importance of doing everything for God alone instead of trying to please other people. "Lose It Again" borders on punk rock, resulting in a sound similar to Bleach or the mainstream band Blink 182. "Live For You Tonight" delivers a fine guitar-driven approach to encourage believers to not lose focus of what really matters. "Sleeper" is another infectious song based on Ephesians 5:14, which states, "Wake up oh sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you."
The real standout on the project is "Hanging On," which starts out with a soft-stringed verse, slowly building up to a strong worshipful ballad that soars by the last chorus. Trey Pearson's passionate voice proclaims, "As I sit here in the midst of You, I come to You; I bring you all that I am. Everybody's looking around and wants to be found, and I am just hanging on. I give You all that I am." It would be fair to say that this song could easily compete with other mainstream rock pieces if given the chance.
There are some songs, however, that simply fail to rise above the typical Christian pop/rock subculture that is virtually unavoidable on Christian radio. A few of the album's lyrics are too perfectly clear and cut, youth-group ready, leaving me wishing for more depth.
Ironically, two of the songs that brought Stand Up down were radio singles "Stand Up" and "Mess with Your Mind." The title track offers little variation in the music and primarily features one melody on repeat. The latter song overflows with vague lyrical hooks.
The one thing that molds Everyday Sunday together and gives the band a sense of identity is front man Trey Pearson's voice. His unique vocals do not compare to many of today's Christian artists, accenting his rock edge. His mature voice boldly cuts through the music while coming across as soft and thoughtful.
Everyday Sunday is a band with an extremely optimistic future. They already show musical talent and appeal to many tastes of Christian rock fans. However, the lack of overarching creativity to move beyond the average holds this project from achieving enormous amounts of critical acclaim.
By Tim Harms