spoken - a moment of imperfect clarity
A Moment Of Imperfect Clarity
Tooth & Nail

I remember back in the day (mid-90s, to be exact), when most of the Christian labels, in their never-ending quest to remain relevant and fresh to the mainstream (just two years behind, mind you), were clamoring to sign any rapcore band to capitalize on the success of Rage Against The Machine, Limp Bizkit and Korn. In 1996, the now-defunct Metro-One label released the debut CD from Arkansas-based group Spoken- On Your Feet. They followed that up in 1998 with …What Remains, both featuring blistering heavy rapcore sonics. Their third album, Echoes Of The Spirit Still Dwell, saw the band go into more of a modern rock/nu metal direction, adding melodic singing in with the rapping, giving it a Linkin Park vibe to the sound.

Now, it’s a different era, a different label, and a definite different sound for Spoken. Now, those wishing for the ol’ rapcore will have to go elsewhere. Here, on A Moment Of Imperfect Clarity, the band goes for the sounds that Chevelle, 12 Stones, and Cold plays to the masses- loud, noisy modern rock. Basically, Spoken has transformed from just another rapcore band to just another Tooth & Nail band.

Lyrically, the band is in the very same place they started out in- bold, emotional, having a Keith Green-like retrospection; they’re crying out to God and lending comfort to His children, while looking at our distance from God as sinners in songs like “In Dreams” and “Falling Further”. “Sleep Well Tonight” addresses the band’s loved ones, left alone as the band tours the country. In the closing track, “How Long”, there’s a resolution of sorts: “Love is falling down all around me / Holding me to your heart, holding me to the sky / I know you are here / I feel you on the air”.

While I’m not a fan of modern rock, especially of the so-called “Christian” variety (most of it is just over-hyped pretentious flapdoodle), many do, so, all I can say is this would find a new fan base in the modern rock crowd than they did in their rapcore days.