It's been seven years since Five Iron Frenzy, Denver’s preeminent Christian ska band, dropped an album. But now the bandmates have recorded most of what will be called Until This Shakes Apart. The new release addresses immigration, gun laws, the current presidential administration and the general state of society.
“We’ve always been down to talk about that stuff,” says tenor saxophonist Leanor Ortega Till. “We’re not going to stop now. It’s one of those interesting times in history where you kind of have to pick a side in some ways. You can’t just be in the middle. There’s no middle.”
And apparently there's no middle when it comes to Christian ska, judging from the comments readers posted on the Facebook version of our Five Iron Frenzy story. Says Jason:
They lost me at “Christian Ska.”
Two terrible genres.
So religion co-opted ska and now this band of complicit tools wonders why there are problems. Rock music goes against many tenets of the New Testament. There shouldn’t be any crossover, according to their creed.
But Tom counters:
Love this band! Years ago when I was a Colorado youth pastor, my high school kids and I enjoyed so many insanely fun concerts with the Frenzy! Ska was a great music genre. I’ll be listening to their new stuff.
I never knew they were from Denver! I used to jam All the Hype back in my youth!
And then there's this from Tyler:
Well, at least you guys are writing about stuff you actually know about. That’s a start.
Aaron Carnes, music editor at Santa Cruz alt-weekly Good Times and author of the upcoming book In Defense of Ska, really knows about this stuff. "They were very unique and very sincere in what they created as artists," he says of the band. "Five Iron Frenzy paved the way for Christian ska to be taken more seriously within the larger ska scene. That didn’t happen with other genres. Five Iron Frenzy was willing to get out there and play to non-Christian audiences — many of whom were skeptical but who quickly became fans."
Have you heard Five Iron Frenzy? What do you think of the band? Christian ska? Ska in general? Post a comment or share your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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