By Chace McNinch
It’s that time of year again, friends. People are getting back into the Greenville groove, whether it’s through the solidifying sleep schedules or getting used to the D.C. diet. Students are getting the chance to be a part of some amazing opportunities throughout the campus, including both extracurricular activities and classes alike. Among these opportunities is class the music department offers called “Lab Band.”
To those unfamiliar with the premise of the lab band, the class is offered to students who wish to create their own band performing original material (or the music of their choosing) and earn college credit for it. Through the class, they are offered help and counseling through residing professors and given several opportunities to perform with their group both on campus and off. This year, three bands were chosen to be a part of this program, each with a distinct sound. With this is mind, you may ask yourself this question: What can I expect to see from these groups?
Probably the newest faces to the campus to greet the Greenville student body are the band “Tribe of Judah.” Guitarist/vocalist Nate Bjorge describes the band as a “definite Christian band,” and goes on to explain, saying “We are little more hard-rock based than a typical Christian band.” And this is a true statement. “Tribe of Judah” provides a great dose of both hard rock and borderline metal which gives students an edgier listening environment. But even though they maintain a heavier sense of musicality, their message still stands clear: “Overall, we’d like to make music that people can relate to,” says Nate. “We also hope that people can interpret it for themselves and take something deeper out of the music, maybe learning about themselves, God, or life in general in the process.” In short, if you’re looking for a great outlet to make a spiritual connection yet have the opportunity to let loose, then Tribe of Judah is just the band for you.
However, if pop and dance are more your style, then you might want to check out “Izzy Wignall.” Izzy, keyboard rig at hand, writes accessible tunes for the everyday party-goer, but at second glance you’ll find that the lyrics in these catchy tunes go much deeper than just having a good time. With a solo album, “Revolution,” coming out this December, his songs show immense passion for his Creator, and he’s determined to bring the ultimate glory to God. “ I hope that, through the music, the band and I spur on students to fast and pray for our campus. Greenville is in desperate need of a revival (or, “move of God”), and it starts with us asking Him about it…Expect God to do BIG things here in Greenville.” Through several interviews conducted with Izzy, it’s apparent that he wants to spread that love and fire to those that hear the music, and hopes that anyone and everyone can come out to give the band a listen. He also hopes that there’s a little something musically for everyone in there as well, but ultimately, according Izzy himself, “I pray it spurs on Greenville students to start asking Jesus to move mountains even here on our college campus.” If you think there’s something amidst all this dance rock for you, then don’t be afraid to give Izzy and his talented backing band a listen.
This brings us to the final lab band this semester, “Elk House.” If the name alone doesn’t raise eyebrows for you, than maybe their words will. Band vocalist and ukulele rocker Kiah Kelsen describes their sound as “the dead of night in a winter lodge filled with taxidermy,” and upon being asked the band’s goals for the semester, she responded “We hope to restore the rightful heir of Gondor to the throne.” If you’re unsure as to how to interpret these statements, let me help you a little. Elk House comes as an interesting breath of fresh air to the Indie community on campus and are worth a trip to see. As a group they lock into some great grooves reminding this writer of a harmonious blend between Indie and Psych rock, and provide the listener with a melodic atmosphere that truly allows them to just kick back, relax, and enjoy the show. This is a group one will not want to miss!
With these bands providing an eclectic backdrop of melody to the Greenville College campus this year, you will find that there is some kind of outlet for almost anybody. Whether coming to find a spiritual connection through the harmony or just wanting to enjoy a relaxing evening of some tunes, the Lab Band program is something you don’t want to miss this semester. Support your peers by grabbing some friends, heading to the Blackroom and checking out some talented musicians doing what they do best. I can assure you, you won’t regret it.