P.O.D. (Payable on Death) are one of those bands that are seen by Christians as too secular to be considered Christians and considered by the secular world as to Christian to be taken seriously… and to be perfectly honest… that tension is one of the reasons I like the band.
Murdered love the bands sixth mainstream studio album is full of imagery. The album starts of hard both musically and lyrically… the first two tracks talk about hard subjects like ‘End Times’ while the title track of the album ‘Murdered Love’ is a song that talks about the minutes straight after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and it aims to paint a graphic picture of the event.
“Exterminate the absolute
Stain the just in the blood bath
Waste the pure, butcher the divine
annihilate the sunrise”
It’s great to have a song that really shows the pain that Jesus Christ went through for us… once you dwell on the imagery it’s hard to back away from… you’ve seen too much.
The album isn’t all heaviness… and 3 tracks in we are introduced to the song ‘Higher’ for those who only picked up on POD at the Satellite album this song is most like ‘Alive’… in fact the next 3 songs after ‘Higher’ are a homage to where the band has come from… and it may disappoint some hard-core POD fans as they are tracks that maybe aren’t so heavy musically… however POD have always been on the heavy end of pop and on the lighter end of hardcore as they infuse their metal blend sound with everything from punk, reggae, hip-hop and of course a natural bent to a latin style. West Coast Rock Steady is the albums ‘party fun song’ that they seem to like to put on each album a great way I feel to remember where they come from and where they have been… this track would not look out of place on their first album ‘The Fundamental Elements of Southtown’…
Talking about where POD had been…remember they had Katy Perry on their album ‘Testify’ BEFORE she was really famous. I wonder what Katy Perry thinks of POD’s most pop infused song to date ‘beautiful’… the best way to discribe it is like 311 with big boy pants on. It’s a great song, and would be a great Northern hemisphere summer song.
The album picks up the harder sound with ‘Babylon the Murderer’ and ‘On Fire’ (a song the band released as a free download in July 2011) before taking a brief journey into some metal based funk (Parliament meets Prince meets Living Color) in the song Bad Boy a fun song where Sonny sings “I’m a bad boy looking for a good girl” – it’s pretty cool… and a real epic funk number.
POD finish hard on the album with ‘Panic and Run’ talking about the world falling down around us… the mixture of styles is perfect for a song of this nature as it pushes heavily the punk infused sounds with reggae, SKA and even heavy metal… set upon the back drop of ‘chicken little’ imagery “The sky is falling”.
And POD finish it all off ‘I AM’in which Sonny sings with the same sort of honesty U2 used on ‘Wake up dead man’… it’s an honest song that talks about knowing God and knowing who you are in that… but confused about this mess that we are among in the world… thousands of religions… false prophets and confusion… it’s good to hear people singing about how things sometimes just don’t make sense.
This is a good album from a band that is feeling comfortable in itself… it’s an album from a band that is discovering it’s faith is getting deeper… and it’s a band who realise that their sound is not only part of who they are… but where they come from… and the sound of the community they have found themselves in.
This is an album that is an album that has got a bit of something for everyone… I just hope that POD isn’t trying to be all things for all people while alienating some of their longest serving fans.
Most likely POD’s most accessible album in Testify… but with new life and a harder edge.