For their last Tooth & Nail release, Showbread’s 2009 album The Fear of God serves as the final foray into shearing abrasiveness, while simultaneously foreshadowing the group’s future sounds.
In this respect, it’s almost as if they didn’t let those records breathe. At all. Notorious for their ever-evolving lineup changes – the band has had upwards of 20 members come and go – perhaps the reason for this lack of letting an album flourish is the constant turnover. Maybe they were just eager to be done with Tooth & Nail after years of back-and-forth with the label that once served as the behemoth of alternative faith-based music, now struggling to remain relevant.
Whatever the case may be, the timing of The Fear of God was always curious to me. Regardless, it’s a solid record with some memorable songs. “I’m Lost” opens with something of a bomb drop: harsh guitars and massive drums, followed by “Nothing Matters Anymore.” You’d’ve thought it was the ‘old’ Showbread all over again. This holds true for a few tracks on the record, punctuated by the far less spastic but still “raw rock” brand of tunes for which the group has come to be known (“Vehement,” “The Great Emasculation,” “I Think I’m Going to See You”).
Notable on this record is the guitar work of Landon Ginnings (known heretofore on the Internet as “landon d. mise”). The guitar solos on “Out of My Mind” and “Nothing Matters Anymore” are standards. #Praise.
Toward the end of the record is actually one of my favorite Showbread songs to date: “Precursor,” an over-the-top return to Refused-influenced glory. Put that in your ears, stat, if you know what’s good for you as a fan of fun and straightforward, narrow-minded rock.
As someone who’s been a fan of the band for more than a decade now, I’ve often wondered if Age of Reptiles had been released at a different time than it was. If No Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical had preceded Anorexia/Nervosa, if somehow that would have made a difference in retaining an audience after the otherwise mild Age of Reptiles came out.
It’s an unhealthy thought I’ve struggled with for a long time because of some selfish desire to see the band rise above the rest of the vanilla bands on Tooth & Nail, and it’s something I’ve been trying to put to rest over the years, but man. Somehow I feel they deserved it more than anyone else.
There’s a line from “Regret Consumes Me” which encapsulates this notion. The song is about members of the group who have come and gone, either on good terms or bad. It goes:
you couldn’t stand it i suppose
life comes and then life goes
some things nobody knows,
some things nobody knows.
From Showbread’s last Tooth & Nail release, The Fear of God, this is “Precursor” –
Standout tracks: “Nothing Matters Anymore,” “Regret Consumes Me,” and “Let There Be Raw”
Weakest track: “Until We Meet Again”
RIYL: Raw rock. Brave Saint Saturn, Children 18:3.