Relient K – Collapsible Lung

Even Christian music websites are giving this one shit reviews. I always figured they’d let just about anything pass muster as long as you believed in Jesus enough? But I guess the Church really is as rich and complicated as people say. Of course Relient K have always leant more towards the Creed end of the “faith rock” spectrum, almost certainly as a way to keep from blockading themselves into the Christian niche and missing out on mainstream success.

It’s the same reason the mighty Creed never cemented themselves as a Christian band, merely as a band made up of Christians. They would’ve hated to miss out on all that “With Arms Wide Open” money. Perhaps if they’d made more money on that song Scott Stapp could’ve bought a gun that he could actually bring himself to fire, but that’s neither here nor there.

I guess I’m supposed to talk about Collapsible Lung, but I’m not sure if I should really bother. It’s pretty much everything you’re thinking, plus synths. Of course if you’re a fan of the band, in which case I have no idea what you’re doing reading my dick joke-laden prose, then you should lower your expectations considerably. And add synths.

This new release doesn’t even play like a newly recorded album. It sounds more like a b-sides compilation. Eschewing the pop-punk that elevated, nay lifted them, Collapsible Lung is instead made up of jaunty pep-rally chants like “Boomerang”, the Hillsong pseudo-indie opener “Don’t Blink” and a surprising amount of synth-heavy dance rock, like the sweet-on-you “Lost Boy” and the kick-boom “PTL”. None of the tracks coalesce and as a result, each song feels like an abandoned idea.

Over the course of the 11 tracks we hear of the various ladies that have walked through singer Matt Thiessen’s life—there’s actually a surprising amount of poon on this record. But most importantly, Collapsible Lung teaches us that despite the flux of less-than-kind females swirling around Thiessen’s pretty little head, he still manages to remain nauseatingly chipper. Who knows where the boy gets his strength? Probably Jesus or something. 

(Mono Vs. Stereo Records)

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