Children 18:3, Saints Of Denial, and Blake Whiteley

Children 18:3

“...We want to be instruments of a new wave of transformation that will sweep the land. We aren’t just playing songs. We see something greater on the horizon and we want to be a part of it.”

And if David Hostetter--frontman and songwriter for upstart trio Children 18:3--had his way, the songs he and his two bandmates/siblings have just concocted for their sophomore release on Tooth and Nail Records would not just be the soundtrack for the apocalypse, but a part of its catalyst as well.

“The message of this record is that something big is coming. When you take a look at the world around us, it isn’t a stretch to conclude that the end is near. We just want to play our role in ushering it in.”

So what do songs that bring forth the end of the age sound like? Like the Great Tribulation itself, they are a mixture of dark and light, a beautiful contrast of hope and chaos, pop and angst, victory and righteous indignation. On Rains A Comin’ these three Minnesotans don’t just pull from their deepest cores to craft sing-alongs in excess, but they do it with the patented personality and genuine emotion that is so vacant in the current context of popular rock music.

Take the lead single, “Cover Your Eyes.” There is not a moment wasted, as the song accelerates into urgency out of the gate. And as a speedy punk beat merges with emergency-fueled guitars, two contrasting voices ricochet off one another to compel the listener closer. One, merciless, raw, and masculine. The other, fashionable, wailing, and feminine. Brother David, Sister Lee Marie. They are the double-edged sword of this apocalyptic machine. And in the contrast of their voices lies the intrigue, individuality, and undeniability that is this release.

And as the melody seeps through your pores and you can’t help but want more.

She said run, but I’m not running...

Yet for all their affinity for end-times imagery, Children 18:3 have not bowed to emotional one-dimensionality on this, their most universal record yet. This is, by all means, a pop record as much as it is a punk record. And don’t be fooled into thinking Rain’s A Comin’ is doom and gloom; this record excels in highs and will leave you feeling inspired to make a difference, to make a lasting change in your world. And though you may be familiar with Children 18:3--known for their over-the-top glam/punk imaging and devastating live show--they demonstrate here that they have the sand for a run at a larger audience.

“I think we have defied own own stereotype this time around,” states David. “This record has some songs that are a bit more commercial. Whereas as the first release had a lot of dark rock n roll, this one is a little bit more well-rounded emotionally speaking. I could see kids who weren’t into our stuff before really digging this record.”

And if one had to choose one word to describe it, Rain’s A Comin’ might just be summarized as diverse. There is the slow-rolling heavy anthem title track. There is the mid-tempo, melodic rock triumph that is “Lost So Long.” There is the acoustic balladry of “Oh, Honestly.” But fear not, loyal followers, there are plenty of fast-paced jams to keep you satiated as well.

And with powerful, poignant lyricism, the picture of the potency is complete. On “Wonder I,” David contemplates the power of faith: Wonder, wonder I. If I stood on your shoulders, could I touch the sky? On “Cover Your Eyes,” he confronts the foolish notion of self-reliance: The trees have all begun the dance, elated by a second chance, but when a windmill blows it's not hooked up to anything except the breeze. And perhaps the crux of the entire album lies upon two great lines contained on “Jack O’ Lantern Dreams”: Only if you can remember the ending, can we then work back toward the start.

If you know nothing else about this band know this: they have a live performance that leaves entire postal codes in craters. If you have seen them, you know this to be true. In an age where most depend on gimmicks, spin-kicks, and hocus-pocus, the Hostetters possess that most heralded of gifts: a genuine rock show. They have the chops, the moves, and the attitude. Having toured with such industry heavyweights as Brian Head Welch, Project 86, Classic Crime, Norma Jean, Haste The Day, they have constructed the core necessary to make the leap to the next plateau. And that next level is promised as more opportunities to make converts are presented. With this band, all they need are new eyes to appear before.

With two, number-one rock singles on their debut, along with four total top-five singles, Children have developed the reputation for hit-making. Expect nothing less from Rain’s a Comin’, which has all the potential in the world to cross multiple formats.

The future is written for Children 18:3. And that future is near. It cometh with double-edged guitars, triumphant melodies, and fire, fire, fire.

“Revival and rain is coming on the horizon. There is a cloud that we can see...and it is starting to happen already. It is written that in the final days He will pour out his spirit on the nations. We would love to play some small role in that. That is why we are here.”

Saints Of Denial

Saints of Denial formed in the fall of 2009 as the group Unbridled, initially as a duo of lead guitarist Eric Prater and bassist Nick Carreon. Eventually developing into a trio with the addition of drummer Kirk Saunders, the band set out to write intense, hard-edge music. The band began working on their music, writing songs with the intention of connecting to the listeners lives at the deepest social and religious levels. The band’s song library deals with a variety of issues including relationships, troubled faith, hypocrisy in the church and giving praise back to the Lord for what He has done.
The band does not fear to say what they feel needs to be said, both to Christians and non-Christians alike. They see no sense in “beating around the bush” when it comes to people’s lives. So their goal has been to truly be “Unbridled” and to keep themselves totally unrestrained and to say what has been laid on their hearts.
The band struggled throughout 2010 to get their feet off the ground, especially with the departure of Nick and devoted themselves to writing and recording a self-produced EP which they hope to release in Spring 2011. More recently, the band has refocused and added a second guitar player and a violin player to further diversify their sound and add musical quality they have not yet achieved. They have also taken a more serious approach to further their faith and applying their beliefs, both in God and in the music they play in their own lives.
The band changed their name to Saints of Denial early in 2011 to avoid conflict with an existing band under the name Unbridled. Saints of Denial is derived from one of the band’s primary issues they focus on: hypocrisy in the church. Christians tend to hold themselves in high-esteem and think they are better than others. All while failing to notice problems both inside and outside the church. So while there is this “saintly” image Christians have of themselves, they spend all their time denying that there is any problem worth addressing, so we are truly the Saints of Denial.
The band also wishes to achieve a regular touring schedule across Indiana over the summer and fall of 2011 and is considering recording their first full-length album with Gaither Studios in 2012; discussions are underway.

Blake Whiteley

$8.00 - $10.00


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