The band Overhang, coming from Chicago, IL, sent me their latest album recently. In a few short words, Another Hole for You to Crawl Into is amazing.
This was the first I’d heard of the band, and I sure hope they stick together for a long time and make more music, cuz now I’m addicted. I don’t know what I’d do without my Overhang fix.
I put up a lot of mellow, acoustic folky stuff here, but Overhang is none of that. The band does rock. Pure and simple rock. Loud and noisy rock. Raw and driving rock. Aching and groaning rock.
Overhang has been garnering a local following around Chicago, IL, which is great because I should be able to check out one of their shows sometime, being only a couple hours away. The band is Grant Elgersma on vocals and guitar, Joel Zuidhof on guitar, Nate Bierdeman on bass, and Jeff Stienstra on drums. The music is loud and noisy, like I mentioned, but it’s also crafted really well. The band is really tight, which helps keep it all from becoming just noise. They’ve got a raw, unpolished sound reminiscent of a garage band, but they’re not so loud and noisy that it’s annoying.
Each song on the album is packed with energy. Whether it’s the quiet intensity of “Before I Go,” or the driving, noisy, building cry of “Buried in the Earth,” or the knock-you-backward-reeling feel of “Disaster,” Overhang is what would be going through your head if you were running from a stampede of elephants in Africa or crawling through the desert looking for a drop of water. Or if you were a crack addict rampaging through your house looking for that last bit of cocaine you know you placed there. [Editor’s Note: Don’t do drugs. Drugs are BAD. Note the caps-lock. That means I’m serious.] You get the idea. It’s intense and searching stuff.
Grant’s vocals are amazing. Whether he’s singing softly or shouting out the lyrics, his voice draws the depths of emotion out of the songs. The two guitars are great. Nothing you haven’t heard before, but it’s just done really well. Joel does some crazy stuff to create a little bit of sonic chaos in each song. Bass is solid, and Nate adds in some fun licks that take the music beyond the all too typical boring bass lines and into the “oh, nice bass line” realm. I’m a bassist, so I listen for those things. And drums? Drums are great. I have nothing to comment on them, but know that they’re good.
On their website Overhang describes themselves as “Four instruments hurling musical 18-wheelers, hurricanes, and holy books into the crowd. Moody rock’n’roll on marching feet, a band of four beating drums of sonic war, following the fire in their eyes to the promised land.” That right there is exactly what the music sounds like.
The band wants to expand your concept of what can be included in music made by Christians. According to Grant, “We believe music by people with a Christian worldview should be better than what CCM typically offers. It should express the frustrations, as well as the joys, of being a Christian in this world.” If you’re a usual reader here, you know I agree wholeheartedly.
One final quote. Describing their name, the band says:
The name OVERHANG came about when Joel and Grant were trying to explain the feeling of their music to friends. ‘We both kept talking about this urge or longing for something beyond ourselves that we feel in the music,’ explains Grant. ‘No matter what mood or emotion we’re trying to express—sorrow, joy, rage—it always comes off like a reaching for something greater or a sense that something truly transcendent is on its way. OVERHANG became a name for this grand something that we’re trying to reach, the invisible standard that we are always trying to live up to. Maybe we never quite reach the transcendent moment in this lifetime, but we believe it’s the attempt that makes music beautiful.’
So that this doesn’t sound like a paid advertisement, I should probably include some negative things. The biggest drawback for me is that the songs on the album tend to blend together. You know those albums you listen to where each song is so completely different that it feels almost like a different artist? Well, this has the opposite problem. After listening to half the album, I found myself thinking, “Wow, this was a long first song… or second song… or…” The songs are all so similar in style, they leave me wanting a little more diversity.
Overall, though, I love this album, and I hope you do too.
Here are two of my favorite songs:
The Blah Blah – serving up the best in Christian music MP3s.