40. Supertones Strike Back – The O.C. Supertones

SUPERTONES STRIKE BACK

The O.C. Supertones

Nearly every O.C. Supertone record could be considered a worthy contender for inclusion on this list, but the lyrics, passion, energy and feel of the Supertones sophomore release just sets this record apart from its peers. The O.C. Supertones led the way for an onslaught of third wave ska bands in the Christian music industry including stalwarts like Five Iron Frenzy and The Insyderz. Combining blazing, punk like guitars with funky, driving horns and non-stop energy, the Supertones deserved their amazing success.

But more than just leading a popular revival of Ska music, the Supertones became the first band from Tooth and Nail to really break through to the Youth Group crowd. At the time Youth pPastors tended to limit their kids exposure to Christian rock to bands like Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys and DC Talk. The Supertones became acceptable and “safe” while remaining authentic and cool.

It was with Supertones Strike back that lead singer/songwriter Matt Morginsky came into his own as a songwriter, performer and vocalist. Here on Strike Back it his songwriting takes center stage. Morginsky had become more and more influenced by theologians like RC Sproul, Cornelius Van Til and Greg Bahnsen and the depth of the content showed and the increasing Reformed perspective was becoming more obvious and would really expand on following releases. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is plenty good old fashioned “just for the fun of it” punk rock sentiments, but there is more depth here than would be found on releases by similar artists.

The concept of man’s depravity shows in “Louder Than the Mob” when Morginsky compares himself to the crowd that yelled for the crucifixion of Christ.

I know I'm just another Judas, kiss Your face
While I drive the nail through Your hand
I know I'm just another Thomas, won't believe
Until I feel the hole in Your hands
Then I will say, my God, I see not what You see
My God, what do You see in me?
My God, crowned in glory
The Lamb of God is worthy

Another Reformed theme is revealed in the aptly titled “Perseverance of the Saints”

Let me drown in an ocean of devotion
Let my joy be in service and love my emotion
Let me be closer that Your right hand
Tighter than Your left hand and let me be a Godly man
'til the day I die, 'til the fire's just smoke
I will go for broke 'til my last word's spoke
If I limp then I will run with a limp
I'll win some and lose some, but I'll make my attempt

Last breath before the candle flickers out
I will speak the name of Jesus.

More pointed discussion of sin and its impact are revealed in the song “Little Man,” but here Morginsky recognizes the issue of the love of money is man’s desire to find a reason not to need God and the pure futility in the effort to obtain more and more while losing ones soul.

Mammon is an unforgiving God, I cast him away
I live my life to God, not to get paid
Money can't save your soul, don't think I can
I look to God and I feel like a little man.

The album closes with Morginsky realizing that through all his life the lord was there, even before he knew it. This song stands out musically as it is an acoustic driven departure and really stands out.

I think a few years back
On a road that headed to nowhere
No that You found me
I can see that You were always there
So great a salvation
But to You my Jesus what am I worth?
It's quiet times like this
I feel I get a glimpse of Heaven right here on earth

The Supertones would put together a lengthy and successful career and deservedly so. It appears the Supertones are not quite finished as a reunion tour has been booked for 2010 hitting major Christian Festivals.

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One response to this post.

  1. I’d also like to suggest Five Iron Frenzy’s “Up Beats and Down Beats”. Grounded in faith, it’s an expression of complete lack of apathy towards injustices and political issues mixed with a fair dose of wit and humor. Likely to be considered a bit controversial to people with more conservative tastes for lyrics, that deal with America’s history with Native Americans, etc,. and hold a certain political-punk ideology (with a ska-core, ska-punk, sound) on select tracks. But it’s been one of my absolute favorite Ska albums, and for that matter, Christian albums.

    Other great bands in the ska and ska sub-genres would be The Dingees and The Israelites.

    Reply

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