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Artist: Building 429
Label: Word Records (2004)
Length: 6 tracks (time?)
Taking their name from the directive in Ephesians 4:29 to encourage one another, vocalist Jason Roy and bassist Scotty Beshears formed the nucleus of Building 429 in North Carolina in 2000. After recruiting Paul Bowden (guitar) and Michael Anderson (drums), the band toured heavily throughout the South and along the Eastern Seaboard before meeting up with modern worship artist Jason Ingram in late 2002. Through Ingram, Roy and his cohorts were introduced to Jim Cooper, who produced a demo recording for the group which led to a deal with Word records in December of 2003.
On the musical side of the coin, the better portion of the Glory Defined EP pulls from the band’s Southern roots. Roy’s voice is a dead ringer for Third Day’s Mac Powell, and songs like “All You Ask of Me” and “Show Me Love” feature a decidedly Third Day-influenced Southern pop/rock aesthetic. Elsewhere, the darker tone and heavier guitar textures of “Free” fall somewhere between the melodic post-grunge of Collective Soul and the swaggering ‘80s-era hard rock of artists like Honeymoon Suite and Bad English. And the shimmering “The Space in Between Us” highlight the band’s dexterity with slower, acoustically-based fare.
Lyrically, Roy and his cohorts concentrate on the dual themes of human frailty and divine grace. The anthemic title track points to the assurance of life after death which carries Christians through hard times. “Free” is a post-salvational declaration of dependence on Christ. “Show Me Love” highlights God’s patient understanding regarding the believer’s struggles to consistently do what is right. And the austere, best-of-album “The Space in Between Us” is a simple song of longing to draw closer to God.
In fairness, the 429 collective breaks little new ground, musically. And some might consider the group’s concentration on human weakness a bit excessive. That said, Roy and his partners go to great lengths to point to God as the ultimate source of hope and change, rather than focus exclusively on human failing. And while the band’s influences are admittedly rather easy to tag, its ability to turn out infectious, instantly memorable compositions is both admirable and rare. While the length of the group’s musical tenure may well be determined by its ability to forge a more singular musical identity, the Glory Defined EP is a solid first effort that stands up quite nicely alongside the work of those who inspired it.
Bert Gangl 4/18/2004
Okay, by now you've heard the title track to this EP project. Don't run out to get it without fair warning. Slap Glory Defined in your CD player expecting to hear the radio version of this number one song, and you'll be surprised! This North Carolina former indie band reminds me of FFH in only one aspect: before that band made it big as Far From Home and changed its name to FFH, it released an EP with one unusual song, "Big Fish" (and that's not the essence of FFH, as we know well). That's where Building 429 is now with a very successful song, "Glory Defined." Stopping the comparisons, Building 429 is a rock and roll praise and worship band that is not necessarily for Christian Hit Radio listeners. Again, it's on the rock platform. The texture is mostly guitar and a heavy rhythm beat, specifically the title track, "Show Me Love," and "Free." Think a lighter version of EDL with praise lyrics, and there's the essence of Building 429. I love it! Now, there are unplugged songs ("The Space In Between Us" and "All You Ask of Me"), as well as the radio version of "Glory Defined," for all audiences. The lyrics are excellent, and with a little spit-polish-shine, Building 429 has much more than the title track to this EP for which to be known. Watch and wait and enjoy. A full-length project is on its way, and for now, the _Glory Defined_ EP project will whet your appetite.
Olin Jenkins 7/10/2004