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275. Upbeats and Beatdowns – Five Iron Frenzy

UPBEATS AND BEATDOWNS (1997)

Five Iron Frenzy

Once upon a time in Christian music everybody and their brother were releasing albums by ska bands. The diluting of the quality of product was a disservice to the fans with several mediocre bands clogging the system. But for those that could traverse through the morass and discover the best the industry had to offer would make stars of the OC Supertones, the Inzyderz and the court jesters of ska music, Five Iron Frenzy.

Based out of Denver, CO Five iron Frenzy released this debut album on Five Minute Walk Records and the album became an instant hit. Filled with creative and memorable tunes, super high quality production and an unending supply of energy, the band quickly became a favorite in the genre. This coupled with some superb live performances made the band an alternative and youth group favorite.

Despite the humorous content and hysterical, energy laden live performances there was much to be chewed on with this debut. The opening tack, Old West, dealt poignantly with the mistreatment of Native Americans at the hands of settlers and missionaries. This is a theme that would be repeated over several FiF albums.

FiF did a masterful job of combing pop, punk and ska into a single original musical experience. Fun and energetic, FiF runs through several great songs on this wonderful debut. Highlights include Where Zero Meets Fifteen, Anthem, Faking Life and Milestone.

Humor reins supreme in Arnold, Willis and Mr. Drummond, an ode to the classic sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes.” “Combat Chuck” continues the humorous attack. There is even a punk version of Amy Grant’s “Everywhere I Go.”

The huge hit, though, came from the worshipful “A Flowery Song.” The most traditional sounding ska on the album, the song became a huge radio favorite and was even nominated for a Dove Award for its video. The song featured the Doxology for the chorus and the bands interest in Reformed Theology was hinted at here and elsewhere.

 

 

 

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