COMMON GOAL, A: Blessings and Battles: CD

Man, I am really bothered by a band with an agenda, especially one as overt as this one. The band makes no bones about it—they are straight-up Christian punk. The message of working hard and doing good might not be such a bad thing, but when cloaked in these trappings, it just comes off as judgmental preaching. To be fair, I would feel the same about a band with any obvious agenda. That said, the music cannot seem to escape the dogma, kind of half-heartedly chugging along, content to tow the Christian line. I don’t know, man. I grew up on punk that inspired me to challenge ideas and notions of religion and politics and stuff like this just seems anathema to my core beliefs. Sorry dudes, I just can’t objectively recommend this release to anyone.

 –Garrett Barnwell (Thumper Punk, thumperpunkrecords.com)