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Artist:  Flipside
Label:  Ninety Degree Records
Time:  10 tracks/42 minutes

Brothers Matt, Sam, and Tim Stewart and Chris Gatmaitan make up the West Coast band Flipside.  Their debut CD on Ninety Degree Records is a collection of songs that combine hard driving grunge guitars, a bit of hip-hop,  and "in your face" lyrics to proclaim the gospel.  All the songs were written by the band and include such lyrics as:

      The line is drawn the battles on
      I've called you out, you better run
      Satan I know your power is strong
      But my God's strength goes on and on
       (from "Don't Get In My Way)

The project suffers mainly from some rather weak lyrics and several songs that sound the same. Lyrics such as, "I've got love tones tapping on my brain stem; The Lord gives me those and this won't ever end," bring an amateur feel to the music. The second song, "H.G.W.C," could easily be a continuation of the first, just as the song "Love Tones" sounds just like "Real Deal."  The ballads-- "In His Eyes," "Remember," and "Said" --are very nice, but again, sound so similar as to be one song with 3 parts.

"H.G.W.C." is a fun hip-hop number that proclaims, "Yell it to the most; I found the Ghost on the West Coast." "Mr. Jones" deals with the tragedy of suicide, and "In His Eyes" is a ballad that encourages us to seek God's love throughout the trials of life.

Lead singer Matt Stewart has a strong baritone voice that carries these songs throughout their various stylings.  Brother Tim's guitar drives the music including a fine acoustic solo on "Said" and some great electric work on "Give Your Life To Jesus." Guest artist Brad Barth on keyboards adds some memorable moments.

Lots of potential here.  The brother's Stewart aren't quite "there" yet, but with a little more variety in their lead lines, and a bit more creativity in their lyrics, it will be interesting to hear what they do in the future.

Janet Friesen.


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